Taylor has been rock for her family and rescue cat during the pandemic. She dealt with several covid related layoffs and subsequent loss of health insurance while still taking care of business in her adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon. Taylor came to me in February 2021. I run a popular local restaurant and bakery located in Portland. She was culinary school trained and had worked in kitchens for many years. She wanted to work in the front of the house because Taylor Loves people. When I first her for the interview, we did the customary covid elbow bump and I think I made a stupid dad type joke. Taylor’s face and eyes lit up with the brightest and most infectious smile from behind the two masks that she was wearing. After a short interview, I hired Taylor to work as a cashier and bakery counter employee. She did not disappoint. Her genuine care for others came through in the way she took care of our guests. She was immediately loved by our staff and welcomed to our close work family. Taylor suffered the tragic loss of her father in her home state of Hawaii two months ago. He died suddenly and she was unable to return to Hawaii for his service because of Covid related travel restrictions. I offered her all the time she needed off during this horrible time. She only wanted to take one day. She continued to smile and be a bright spot for our guests and staff despite dealing with this tragedy.Three weeks into April, Taylor began feeling sick. At first it was back pain and nausea. A few days later an unbearable headache began. After two zoom care visits where she was told nothing was wrong apart from a migraine, Taylor began to suffer from vomiting and nausea so bad that she could not even sit up. This was so exhausting that Taylor began sleeping 23 hours a day. Taylor’s mom, Kelli became concerned once she realized that Taylor was unable to care for herself and brought her to the hospital. After a full-body MRI, Taylor was rushed into emergency brain surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumor. There was a mass in her lung as well. Taylor got through the brain surgery like a champ. Her first words after waking from the anesthesia were “Can I go back to work now?” She was even texting that evening joking that I could put her on the schedule for the weekend. A week later, she came into the restaurant with her mom to say hi to the staff. She is a fighter and one of the bravest people I have had the pleasure of having in my life. Tay is grace under pressure.
A little over a week ago the pathology results we had dreaded came back. Taylor is facing Stage 4 metastatic melanoma. The masses in her body will require immediate and aggressive radiation treatment. We love her and want her back at work with us. Taylor and her Mother and Brother are so brave right now during this time of adversity. She needs good thoughts, prayers, vibes or whatever you would like to send her way. We want her to know that she will never be alone.