Taylor's Gang Grows Nationwide

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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Leukemia takes the lives of children far too often, and this week the disease hit close to home.

Fifteen-year-old Taylor Heersche of Mulvane lost her battle with Leukemia on Tuesday. But what separates her story from others is the amount of community support that has developed, keeping Taylor's message alive.

Taylor Heersche was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia five years ago at the age of ten.

"She had a rough time," said Taylor's uncle Steve Hastings. "But she always hung in there, she was more positive than anybody else."

Taylor defied science a number of times, but this week the disease flared. Her battle ended on Tuesday, October 30th.

"She said that she had a wonderful life," Hastings said. "She wouldn't change it, and that's the hard part."

Throughout her journey, Taylor's mission had been to inform and spread awareness of Leukemia.

The tragedy has propelled her message, carrying it to thousands.

In Mulvane, orange, the color of Leukemia, is tied on nearly every tree and light post in the city.

But it's not just Mulvane. Support has flooded from miles away.

"Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Australia, Japan, India."It's gone nationwide," Hastings said.

The Facebook page made in her honor has over five thousand 'likes.'

"If you were to pull up what I see as administrator on there, we've reached almost a million people, worldwide," Hastings said.

At the Mulvane football game last Friday night, the evidence of community support was overwhelming. The stadium was filled with orange.

"We're green and white but that night I was glad we were orange and white," said Mulvane High Head Football Coach Dave Fennewald.

And late in the game the crowd broke out in a chant, not for the team, but for Taylor.

"It was a very very touching moment," Fennewald said. "I've been coaching twenty one years. There hasn't been a lot of moments that I've had tears on the inside, but that was something that didn't touch me as a football coach, but more as just a human being."

The crowd at that game represents just a small portion of the cheering section that continues to grow for this little girl.

"She was the greatest kid in the world," Hastings said.

There will be a pancake feed tomorrow morning at Mulvane High School from 7 to 1.

A celebration of Taylor's life will take place on Sunday. Taylor requested that everyone come dressed in jeans and a Taylor's gang t-shirt.

If you are interesting in purchasing a Taylors Gang t-shirt, we have a link set up below to the Facebook page.

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