Danbury girl, 8, battling leukemia, still optimistic

DANBURY TWP. Taylor Wilhite, 8, runs and plays with her brother and sister. It’s hard to believe the girl with curly
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

DANBURY TWP.

Taylor Wilhite, 8, runs and plays with her brother and sister.

It’s hard to believe the girl with curly blond hair and a gap-toothed smile has leukemia.

Taylor was diagnosed with childhood leukemia March 14. Her leukemia is a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

She received her first round of chemotherapy treatments at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. She will need two more rounds of chemotherapy.

“She’s a fighter,” said her mother, Amy Wilhite. “She’s pretty tough. She handled it well.”

After the chemotherapy, Taylor will need a bone marrow transplant. The family found a match, but is still searching for a better bone marrow transplant.

Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital is hosting a National Bone Marrow Register from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17.

Volunteers need to give a saliva sample to determine if they are a match for Taylor or others like her.

Amy expects Taylor will have the surgery for the transplant during the summer. She knows her daughter will remain positive.

Taylor’s motto is “you can get through anything.”

Her nickname “Superstar” stems n

from her enthusiasm and energy. She played softball and soccer and participated in cheerleading clinics throughout elementary school.

Last week, Taylor and her family enjoyed time together between chemotherapy treatments. Taylor spent part of Wednesday playing football with her siblings at the East Harbor State Park in Marblehead.

Taylor will eventually lose her hair because of the chemotherapy. She plans to wear a wig.

“She’s excited about trying new hair color and a new style,” her mom said.

Carolyn Stephens, a friend of the family, is organizing several fundraisers to help the family pay for Taylor’s hospital bills.

The Peninsula Child Conservation League will host a garage sale and raffle a print of the Marblehead Lighthouse during Daisy Day in Marblehead on May 12.

All of the proceeds from the garage sale and raffle will help Taylor’s family. The Taylor Wilhite BBQ Chicken Benefit will have a dinner and 50/50 drawing at St. Mary Church Hall by the Marblehead Lighthouse 4-8 p.m. May 26.

The family will host a charity garage sale at Lakevue Marina Inc. Storage Block in Marblehead 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 29, 30 and July 1, 6, 7 and 8.