Monday, August 12, 2019

The final tally has been calculated!!!!!

We are so grateful for all of the support we received with making Taylors annual lemonade stand a massive success this year!!!

We would like to thank Tom Jackson from Jaxon Labs for creating our new logo and developing a brand guide for us! He also created the banner and signage graphics for us in a very tight turnaround!  Side note: We are finalizing some of the finishing touches and will release the brand guidelines and more information about our new brand soon!

We would also like to send a giant thank you to John Girolami from Ricoh Canada for making our last minute request for signage happen with the assistance of their partner ABL Imaging Group in Calgary, AB. We received our signage the morning of our lemonade stand - John worked his magic once again to meet a totally impractical deadline.

We would also like to thank Susan Otterson from ABL Imaging Group for not only rushing the print job but also discounting it and then donating the remainder of the cost, and also personally donating to our lemonade stand!!! The signage was top notch and really helped us direct traffic and add some polish to our fundraiser!

We had amazing assistance from friends, family, neighbours and so many wonderful people that helped us raise this money in honour of Taylor for such a wonderful cause that is truly a saving grace for families that are impacted by childhood cancer.

Thank you so very much for your help!

Last year we raised $1306 at our lemonade stand, plus $500 in  donations in lieu of Landon’s birthday .  This year we raised $3874.55 for the Kids With Cancer Society.

We are so humbled by your generosity and for helping us honour our sweet baby girl Taylor.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

We wanted to post our updated flyer. Thank you to everyone for the continued support.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Taylor's Annual Lemonade Stand

We have settled on a date and time for Taylor's lemonade and cookie stand for this Summer!

DATE: Friday, August 9, 2019
TIME: 3 - 6 PM
LOCATION:  110 Sunterra Way, Sherwood Park, AB

We will be hosting RAIN or SHINE, so please plan to come, tell your friends and family, spread the word to everyone!  

ALL funds raised will be donated to The Kids With Cancer Society, as Taylor wanted us to continue having these lemonade and cookie sales to raise money for other kids with cancer, just like her.

We will do our best to have change available to break bills to give people change, but please do your best to bring smaller bills or coins UNLESS you would like to leave your change as a donation - those will gladly be accepted!

The pricing will be the same as last year!
  • $1.00 glass of lemonade
  • $1.00 a cookie
  • $5.00 for 5 cookies

We have a few "to do's" if anyone is looking for an opportunity to help out:

  • decorate paper bags with some art and write "Thank you for supporting Taylor's lemonade stand"
  • suggestions on where to get some large poster sized photos printed (nothing too fancy)
  • help with set up/take down
  • we may need a few cookie bakers to assist
  • someone to make a rocking playlist to jam out to while we hang out for 3 hours
  • someone to make and put out/and collect signs on roadways nearby for any drive by customers
  • someone to snap some pictures
  • spread the word to make this a kick ass sale so we can raise lots of money for an amazing charity in honour of Taylor
  • there are probably a few other things, but for now this is all we can think of

Thanks again for all of your love and support, we can't wait to see you all and raise some money for an amazing charity in the name of our girl Taylor!

Monday, October 8, 2018

In Memory Of Taylor

We are very sad to announce that Taylor’s final wish has been granted.  She went to heaven on the morning of Sunday September 23rd and we miss her more than words can possibly express. 

Thank you for all of your incredible support over the past ten years, and especially the last year. We have had many ups and downs, but are ever so grateful that we have had such a wonderful support network that has truly been there for us. We had seven incredible years of cancer free life with Taylor, and we soaked up every moment we could with our little ray of sunshine.

Taylor touched many different people’s lives over the years; she had a wide range of interests and passions, and was a free spirit in so many ways. The things that mattered most to Taylor included spending time with her family and friends, caring for others, and really LIVING life and having a ton of fun along the way.

We have received incredible and overwhelming support from many organizations over the years, however The Kids With Cancer Society has been by far the most incredible and life changing support system throughout our entire journey with Taylor.  If you would like to make a financial donation in Taylor’s memory, we would encourage you to direct it to the Kids With Cancer Society as the funds truly reach families like ours and make a real difference in our community. 

We are hoping to eventually create a memorial fund or event to continue to raise awareness of childhood cancer, help other families, and give back - in Taylor’s memory.  In the meantime, we are hoping to get all of you involved in remembering Taylor. In lieu of having a large service filled with tears and sadness, we are asking that people participate in doing something to remember Taylor and honour the amazing girl she was. This could involve fundraising, volunteering, donating, participating in an event, whatever feels like an experience that you feel would honour Taylor in some way.

We would love for people to share photos or video clips of their "experiences” inspired by Taylor with us on our Facebook Page and/or use the hashtag #AWishForTaylor on social media (or email us if you aren’t on social media).  Also, if you have favourite memories or things that made you laugh or feel connected to Taylor, that you would like to share with her family, please post these to the ‘A Wish For Taylor’ Facebook page or email them to us!

In loving memory of Taylor,
The Thiessen’s

We have provided the like to the Kids With Cancer Society's donation page: Kids With Cancer Society

A few pictures from the last year

Saturday, September 15, 2018

So Tired...

This week has been emotionally exhausting...more so then usually. Although we expected a physical decline, it has been a lot of mental/emotional issues as Taylor struggles to try to understand death. She has become very fixated in her thinking, and is extremely resistant to switching thought patterns. This means she gets extremely frustrated, crying and angry, swearing and physically can lash out on herself or throw things.

Taylor is now repeatedly telling us she wants "to die". She is in distress, and we struggle to help her understand what is happening. It is so exhausting. The last 4 days have been consumed in the vortex of dying, Taylor pleading to die, asking doctors to kill her so she can go to heaven, Taylor packing for heaven (she compulsively wants to pack, as she worries heaven might not have everything, no matter how much we assure her), making lists (I think it is an OCD tendency that calms her), and wanting to buy journals and agendas by the cart load to take to heaven. She is not able to be reasoned with on many of these topics. You think you may have her understanding and then she snaps back to her old thinking.

So I have been a bit busy and try to get back to people, but my days are very long. I will get back to people. I know many want to help with her bucket list, but it is small and its hard to coordinate some areas as its dependent on how she feels. Taylor gets overwhelmed with a lot of people. She likes routine, and to know the people that are around her. Many want to make things happen in a big way, but that is not Taylor at this point.

Halloween is supposed to happen today, I am hoping people respect that Taylor does not need a carnival aspect, she wants a "regular" Halloween in her neighbourhood....NORMAL. I think everyone deals with being sick, dying, etc. very differently.

Tomorrow we are having Christmas. I will try to find time to post some pictures. Likely they will be found on the Facebook page (A Wish For Taylor) as its easier to post them up there.

We are a very close knit family, private in many ways. I know me sharing so much information with everyone makes it seem like we are not. I started the blog way back 10 years ago because I saw my baby sister hurting and overwhelmed beyond belief. I saw my brother-in-law collapsing under the strain of having a baby that was suffering, and they were so overwhelmed by people I had to take over. I keep this blog so that I can help facilitate people that want to help, that want to know how they are, how Taylor is doing, without them having to be bombarded with people, well meaning, but not grasping what it is like to have everyone checking in on them and offering support.

Having a sick child is the frigging hardest job in the world. Mindy and Landon are AMAZING parents, as are so many that have sick children (both physically and ones suffering mental illness).

So please be patient with us. I will get back to people when I can. Sometimes I may have to decline generous offers as they just are not what Taylor would want, even though they are extremely generous. We do value privacy. Please do not contact Mindy and Landon directly unless you are inner circle (if you are not sure ask me), just contact me. I always let them know and will share your messages when appropriate.

Thank you,

Leah Sacha (crazy aunt of Taylor, sister to an AMAZING Mom, and sister-in-law to the most AWESOME Dad)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

FYI and Taylor's Wish List and/or Gift Ideas

Taylor's First Day of Grade 4!

Hello! Well I am overwhelmed by the generous incoming offers for help to make Taylor's Bucket List come to fruition. Thank you! I am sorry I am a tad overwhelmed as I teach all day and usually head to see Taylor after work, so I promise I will get back to everyone. I will coordinate what the schedule is for events so that I can let everyone know and contact you about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. I think we have the Birthday all planned and organized...well as much as we can, LOL. Thank you birthday angels!

Today was sort of rough. Taylor was good, wanted to go to school and had fun. She has become some what manic though in filling the days and wanting everything done now. This has been really, really hard for Mindy and Landon as they run to fulfill her wishes, but they are exhausted emotionally and physically. When I get to their house Taylor usually has me writing journal entries or recopying old ones for her various purposes. She can have stacks of these and is so fixated they get done, like now! So Mindy did some digging and she is feeling like she could die every night when she goes to bed, so that is why she wants to do everything and not wait. To say our hearts are broken is an understatement, it feels like those broken pieces just keep getting stomped and smashed into smaller and smaller pieces.

Taylor is also on a higher dose of steroid, and other medications. She can get ramped up, and kind of "mean" (a.k.a. state her mind a little more than she generally does). They told Mindy and Landon its like being on idea what that is like, but I can imagine it's weird. 

I am saying all of this to share why when sometimes you speak to them they may seem off, or maybe they are not responding, or whatever. A lot goes on that we are not sharing and appearances can be very deceiving. We have a fairly good veneer to look like we have it together. We don't. This is also why I appreciate all of the people willing to help. Seriously all of you, neighbours, friends, family, nurses, doctors, psychologists, random people, you really are helping us keep going each day. I cannot explain or thank you all enough. 

Marley has been exceptionally snuggly with taylor the last two days and she is loving it!

I know people have been asking what Taylor likes for gifts, etc. I am not adding this list because I want people to feel they need to get her stuff, more for those that are already planning to but are not sure what she likes. Here is the master list I have received from Mindy tonight:

Taylor’s wish list and likes 

Justice stuff
Clothes or dress with dogs\hotdog\french fries on them
Tall socks\no ankle ones (they slip off easy)

Gift cards or money for.
Dollar tree
Movie passes

Paris themed stuff
Jackets/sweaters with thumb holes/fuzzy/soft ones too/
Tie dye clothes
Starbucks sweater

Stuffies or clothes themes:
Basset hounds
Golden Retrievers
Tabby with stripes
Long haired
Other Animals:

Colors Taylor likes:
Blue, aqua, light grey

Long Sleeve Shirts
Pyjamas (night dresses/long shirts)
Pants (stretchy)
Kimono style sweater (no buttons/zippers)
Stuffies (see above list of puppies, etc.)

Wears size 18/20 at Justice - many other stores don’t carry large enough sizes and women’s clothes can be cut very narrow or too curvy and typically too long, but typically women’s M if it is a roomy fit and stretchy fabric.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bucket List

Bucket List

Everyday has brought a new loss. On Monday I was getting texts from Mindy and Taylor. They were in the hospital at Stollery emergency. Taylor had not been able to sleep her body was spasming, and she had a headache. Taylor who doesn't like having to go to the hospital requested to go. What this tells us was she was scared.

The staff were great, and she was calm but extremely tired. The hospital decided the best route was to get her a room up on the oncology ward, so that they could leave on a pass but if they needed to come back they would not have to go back through the emergency. So they settled her in a private room on the Oncology ward.

Taylor was starving as they were not letting her eat in case they needed to do an MRI. The neurologists wanted to look at her and rule out seizures. They decided she would get a CAT scan, so she was able to finally eat. They tried some new meds to try to help ease her anxiety and calm the muscle spasms/twitching.  Although they were able to leave, Taylor felt more comfortable staying at the hospital.
Relaxing in the hotel

Tuesday they had a meeting with Taylor's team, as the CT showed significant growth. The decided the Care plan and DNR for going into the future. They told them that the best guess is she has weeks left, not months.

They told Taylor on Tuesday that she is going to die. She wasn't upset, and said she knew. I am not fully sure she really understands. I think we are all feeling crushed. Stephanie with ChildLife helped them to tell Taylor. I was not there, but they told me what was said, "you might turn 10, but you won't turn 11." "You will not be there at Christmas." I can't wrap my mind around this, how can she?

So to give Taylor her control in how things go from here out, she is planning the stuff she wants to do, and we are going to try and make it happen. We have moved her birthday party to this weekend. She is so excited.
Birthday List

So I am going to post some of the lists in the hopes that we can get some help or ideas or whatever. Of course Mindy and Landon want to make it as exciting and special as possible but its hard on such short deadline, as well as looking after Taylor. It has been hard for me as well as I am teaching now that school started and then I go to their house right after work to visit Taylor who wants me to come.

If anyone has some ideas or things they would like to take off her birthday list we would be grateful. I also thought maybe decorating their main floor for the birthday would be cool for her, so if anyone has decorations or wants to come and do that it would be appreciated. It would need to be done either the night before (Friday when she goes to bed) or on Saturday morning. I think if someone had helium, or whatever you fill balloons with so they float (I'm sorry my brain is numb), it would be so cool to have a bunch of balloons or something, You can text me, or email me, or message me on the Facebook page. Leah 780-803-9988, I of course teach most of the day but will try to get back to you as soon as I can. Please don't contact Mindy and Landon as they need to have space.

Below are some other lists of things we need to do in the next few weeks...please if you can help us figure this out it would be appreciated. I know some are wanting to, so please take a look, come up with some ideas and give me a call. I know people have connections and may be able to help us make some special moments for Taylor, Mindy and Landon.


Puppy Meet Up