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Taylor’s caught up in spirit of ‘Relay’

Features Editor

For several reasons, this year Jack Taylor has caught the spirit of Relay for Life.

It’s not that he hasn’t been supportive of the American Cancer Society because he has been over the years with contributions. His business, Jack V. Taylor, Inc. of Brundidge, also has been a sponsor of Relay for two years.

However, Taylor has never been to a Relay event.

But this year, "I’m going to do that.

"The excitement of Relay for Life is contagious and it’s really been catching on in Brundidge the last couple of years," he said. "People here are getting involved and the more you hear about Relay, the more you want to be a part of it. And, the more you realize that by supporting Relay, you can be a part of helping to find a cure for cancer."

Although Taylor’s family had no previous history of cancer, the disease crept into their close-knit circle and claimed the lives of two of his brothers and a sister.

"Until Wendell had cancer, our family had not been touched by the disease," Taylor said. "Wendell died in 1970. Then we lost Seth to cancer in 1997 and Sarah in 1998."

His daughter Jackie is currently undergoing chemo and radiation therapy for treatment of melanoma.

"Nine years ago, Jackie had a melanoma removed from her leg and she was fine until two years ago, when another appeared on her back," Taylor said. "This one is so close to her spine that it can’t be removed. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have brought her blood cell count up to normal. Melanoma is a very dangerous type of cancer but she lives near Tampa and they have an outstanding treatment center there."

Taylor said being so far from his daughter and two children, ages 13 and 11, makes the situation even more stressful.

"It’s tough being so far from her," he said. "I wish we could be nearer so we could help her more and be with her more. Jackie works as an interior decorator but she comes home every chance she gets and we go there."

Taylor said he knows that the hope for his daughter and the many others who suffer from cancer is in the research that is funded, in a large measure, by the American Cancer Society.

"The treatments that she is receiving are possible because of the research that has been done," he said. "If it weren’t for the research, there wouldn’t be anything that could be done, medically, for Jackie."

Taylor said his commitment to Relay for Life is stronger than it has ever been.

"When you see that people are surviving cancer because of early detection and because of the findings of research and, when one of those people is your daughter, you become a stronger support of Relay for Life," he said. "This year, I plan to be there to be a part of celebrating the lives of the survivors and remembering those who have been lost to the disease. This year, I’ll be there."