This week, we lost a spirited advocate, fearless supporter and dear friend. Taylor Lieber, who has fought three different types of cancer since she was first diagnosed in 2012, passed away on Monday, August 12 at the age of 22. She was surrounded by her parents, Lauren and Dan, and her brother, Michael. Taylor and her family have been closely connected to CCRF, and she has left a mark on our lives that we will never forget. We will miss her dearly.
Taylor generously shared her story with us for the first time in 2016, when she wrote a series of blogs describing her recovery from bone marrow transplant and the emotions she felt watching her friends endure the same things. Her eloquence in describing the pain that she and others felt during treatment drew us in and inspired us to fight even harder for better, less painful cancer treatments for kids and teens like her.
Taylor never hesitated to use her cancer experience to advocate for better treatments for childhood cancer. In 2016, Taylor left her comfort zone by not only sharing her story, but also performing at CCRF’s annual Dawn of a Dream gala, singing Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” She performed the same song a year later at CCRF’s Date for Life event. Her bravery on both of those nights was inspiring, and her heartfelt performances were unforgettable.
In late 2016, Taylor became one of the founding members of the Soar Leadership Council, a group of young professionals who raise awareness for childhood cancer research fundraise for young scientists and doctors. She remained on the board throughout treatment until her passing. Her dedication to this group of young leaders was obvious, and was one of the many ways she has put her own permanent stamp on CCRF.
We are so proud of all Taylor has done to forge a better path forward for kids like her who are diagnosed with cancer. Her passion continues to shine through everything she has done, and we will miss her pioneering spirit and selfless dedication to the cause.
In one of Taylor’s blog posts for CCRF, she offered advice to families who are fighting and grieving – we hope her words can provide some comfort to her family and the many other families who have been touched by cancer.
“Keep your chin up and fight like a warrior. You’ll hurt. You’ll be weak. You’ll cry – but you won’t give up. You’ll find a strength you didn’t even know existed.”
Please join us in sending thoughts to her family and loved ones during this difficult time.