Child cancer survivor to be named Kapiolani Children’s Miracle N - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Child cancer survivor to be named Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network Champion

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On April 22, Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children will announce Taylor Tagatac as the 2014 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Hawai‘i Champion at a launch ceremony at Ko Olina.

The program honors remarkable children who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges, and only one child from every state is selected each year. Taylor will serve as an ambassador for Kapi‘olani and for Hawai‘i's keiki throughout 2015. Later in the year, Taylor will travel to Washington, D.C., and Atlanta to share her story with a national audience. The program is presented by Delta Air Lines, Marriott International and Chico's FAS.

As Hawai‘i's only member of the Children's Miracle Network, Kapi‘olani helps Hawai‘i's keiki, regardless of illness, injury or ability to pay. Each year, Kapi‘olani provides medical care, life-saving research and preventive education to help thousands of children overcome diseases and injuries of every kind.

At age five Taylor was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia a cancer of the blood cells. She received chemotherapy and led as much of a normal life as she could. When the doctors said she was in remission, she and her family were overjoyed. For two years Taylor was back to her usual routine, but then, at eight and half years old she relapsed and doctors told her that she would need a bone marrow transplant. The news hid hard as this type of treatment usually means a trip to the mainland. Taylor was able to become the very first person in Hawaii to have this type bone marrow of treatment using a new protocol. Taylor's dad Frank, was the bone marrow donor. He went through a difficult procedure to harvest the bone marrow, but it allowed Taylor to receive the life-saving treatment she needed to survive. In February 2011, Taylor was officially in remission again. She is now 12 years old and loves playing the drums, riding horses, surfing, and cooking. Taylor just started seventh grade at Ewa Makai Middle school and plays the percussion in the school band.

Taylor was treated exclusively at this hospital. She received multiple chemotherapy treatments, both for her initial leukemia and after the relapse. She had multiple admissions for fever and infections. Her bone marrow transplant was performed at this hospital, as were all of her follow up visits. She developed significant graft versus host disease after her transplant, and required many medications to combat this, for a long period of time. She received physical therapy, dietary counseling, occupational therapy.

Taylor is now off all medications and remains in remission.

Her leukemia remains in remission, 3 ½ years after her transplant, making it unlikely but still possible she could relapse. Graft versus host disease could recur at any time. She could have life-long medical complications from the chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, or medications she received, and will need life-long monitoring of her health for these possible long term effects of the therapy.

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