On November 2, 2008, Tayler inexplicably went into seizures and was transported to the PICU at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Tests revealed a small lesion in the right temporal lobe of her brain, but a diagnosis was not possible at that time. Tayler recovered to the point she could go home and was scheduled for a follow up MRI 6 weeks later. When Tayler went back to Children’s for her follow up MRI; the lesion had grown to the size of a golf ball. She underwent a craniotomy the following day to remove the mass. She was then diagnosed with Gliblastoma Multiforme (a stage 4 brain tumor with a 20% survival rate in kids).

Tayler’s tumor had been “chipped” and was being closely studied. The information gained from chipping allowed the doctors to recommend a new course of treatment (one that is not typically used for this type of cancer). The treatment was extremely harsh, but there were no signs of the tumor returning. Tayler completed treatment on 3/10/2010 and became a thriving young teenager, achieving straight As and first chair cellist.

In January 2018, Tayler began having severe jaw pain and an MRI showed a malignant tumor in her jaw, a bone cancer called osteosarcoma.  Tayler underwent a 13-hour surgery on January 31st to remove half of her jaw bone that contained the tumor, which was replaced with a portion of fibula bone from her right leg and connected to her remaining jaw using a titanium plate. Surgeons also cleared an area around the tumor where they expected additional cancer cells. Tayler spent 2 days in the PICU and was able to go home just 9 days after the surgery.

On February 13th, her doctors found more cancer cells in the edge of what was removed in the initial surgery, which meant Tayler would need more of her jaw removed. Just under an inch of additional jaw bone was removed in the second surgery on February 20th.  Tayler spent 2 days in recovery before returning home to recover before chemotherapy started in March. In June, scans of Tayler’s jaw and chest showed no sign of cancer. Tayler completed chemotherapy treatment in early December 2018 and she has had good scans ever since!

Today, Tayler is working toward her goal of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse. She plays cello in her high school orchestra and is an accomplished ballet dancer.

MAF Impact: Tayler was identified by conventional pathology as having a glioblastoma, but when treated with therapy for this tumor, rapidly recurred. Chip data suggested an entirely different diagnosis and a unique therapy protocol.