On Christmas Eve of last year, our family received the devastating news that our 17-year old daughter Taylor had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. Since that time we have been truly blessed by the thoughts and prayers and the kindness and generosity of this community.
From our friends and family, to our church families, to our co-workers, to our employers, to people we have never met before, the support for Taylor's well being has been unbelievable and very much appreciated.
In times like these it is quite obvious that we live in a community where people are truly concerned about the well being of one another.
What has been the most gratifying thing since Taylor's diagnosis is how her fellow classmates from Marietta High School have rallied behind her and shown her that they are behind her 100 percent.
It seems a lot of the times we hear all of the negative things about today's teenagers and seldom hear about all the positive things that they do.
They have done some incredible things, without being forced to by anyone, simply because they want to do anything they can to let Taylor know they are behind her in this fight.
Here are just a few things that these kids have done:
1. They are collecting pop tabs to send to the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus (which recycles them for cash) where many families, including ourselves, stay when their children are being treated for extended periods of time at Children's Hospital.
To date they have collected well over 100 pounds.
2. The Tigers boys basketball team are all wearing purple shoe laces to not only show their support for Taylor, but for cancer awareness as well.
3. The senior class has raised an incredible amount of money by selling Hodgkins Lymphoma Awareness T-shirts at school.
4. The Tiger baseball team dedicated its halftime "money shoot" to Taylor at a recent Tiger home basketball game.
5. A wonderful friend of Taylor's not only went with her to get a new short hair cut before she started her chemotherapy treatments, but also got her hair cut short as well to show her support for Taylor.
6. A Tiger basketball player (Justin Futrell), who recently was selected the "WTAP Student Athlete of the Week", used his time in the spotlight to mention everything these kids our doing to support Taylor.
This kind of support and kindness has not only been limited to MHS students and athletes.
Taylor is a senior Marietta Tiger cheerleader and when the team recently traveled to Warren, minus Taylor, to battle their arch rival Warriors, the Warren cheerleaders presented our cheerleaders with a teddy bear to give to Taylor as she recovers.
This is not only a credit to what kind of great kids we have here at Marietta and the surrounding areas, but also to the parents that have raised them in a way that they should be very proud of, and to the teachers that have obviously taught them the right way.
I believe our principal here in Marietta, Mr. William Lee, deserves a lot of credit as well for letting our kids be independent, but teaching them respect in the process.
Taylor is in the early stages of her treatment plan that is expected to last four to six months and we are very hopeful for a 100 percent recovery as Hodgkins is the most curable form of cancer.
It is very comforting to know that as we begin this journey to her recovery, that she has so many behind her.
Mike Morrison is a part-time sports writer for the Marietta Times.