Taylor Steele is the Founder of Strong As Steele Cancer Foundation. Taylor was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 12. Taylor passed away August 8, 2011 from Ovarian Cancer at the young age of 17. Taylor was somewhat of a medical challenge. She was the youngest patient known, by any of her doctors, to be diagnosed with this form of ovarian cancer. Taylor was very fortunate to have a wonderful team of physicians at Sutter Medical (Sacramento, CA), Stanford (Palo Alto, CA) and MD Anderson (Houston, TX). Taylor was a pediatric cancer patient with an adult disease. she understood both sides and either way you look at it...cancer is no fun!
Taylor would have started her Senior year of high School Aug. 10th of 2011 where she would have served as the Student Body President. She played soccer competitively and for her high school team. 2010 she had served as Junior Class President, Future Farmers of America Chapter President and a member of the Letterman's Honor Society. She chose to live each and every day to its fullest. She found sleep boring and she loved to sing, dance and spend time with family and friends. She was a fighter, longed to be a survior but mostly, she was a teenager that wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
Taylor had a desire to form Strong As Steele Cancer Foundation because her goal was to do something to make a difference in the world. "I could choose to focus on my illness" said Taylor, "or I can take a stand and do something that focuses on research and help for the many affected by cancer". The idea came to her while laying in a hospital bed receiving one of her chemotherapy treatments. She could not control the fact that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer but she knew that this is a battle she did not want to take lying down. Taylor shared her dream with her family, and after her persistent pursuit...Strong As Steele Cancer Foundation became a reality.
When Taylor was first diagnosed, her coach and soccer team honored her by wearing bracelets that said "Strong As Steele" so she found it only natural to choose this same name for her foundation. Taylor acknowledged that "My battle with cancer would be far more difficult without the support my family, friends and even strangers that offer me encouragement". Taylor did not live her life the way she did because she had cancer... she lived her life the way she did, in spite of the fact that she had cancer. Taylor chose each and every day to make a difference in this world. Her impact on many people is still felt strongly today. Taylor dreamed that her foundation would provide smiles to many, support cancer research and to bring awareness as well as hope to volumes of people!
The research for Ovarian cancer is very much underfunded and the mortality rates are high. We can do more to work towards the goal of early detection and options so that patients can have a better shot at surviving this horrible disease! We also need to do a much better job at supporting teens with all types of cancer, they are a group that sometimes, often times, gets lost in the gap. SAS continues to support teen programs and we are looking to expand our coverage in this area.