Daughter of former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Tim Taylor is fighting cancer
Former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Tim Taylor said he has never been prouder of his daughter, Brittany, 15, who is fighting to overcome Stage III A Hodgkins Lymphoma.
"It was devastating," Taylor said from his Stratford, Ontario, home. "Our lives were turned upside-down. But for me, this was my most defining moment, to see your daughter in a different light, to see how strong she is."
Taylor said his daughter, an avid hockey player who one day wants to play for Team Canada, was diagnosed in January. Brittany has gone through four cycles of chemotherapy and her hair fell out. The good news, Taylor said, is that halfway through chemo, Brittany began showing signs of beating the disease. She still has a long way to go, including three weeks of radiation that has yet to begin. But Taylor said Brittany feels well enough to visit children's clinics to talk about how she has dealt with her disease and how it is a "life lesson."
Hodgkins Lymphoma is a cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. In Stage III, the cancer has moved to lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. Cancer may also be in organs around the lymph nodes or in the spleen. A CT scan showed Brittany had a mass on her spleen, which turned out to be not cancerous. The "A" designation, according to the Mayo Clinic web site, means there are no "significant" symptoms from the cancer.
Taylor said the chemo had all the classic results, including hair loss, violent vomiting and body aches. He recalled watching the Olympic hockey tournament with his daughter, who would lie on the coach. Brittany was so weak, Taylor said he had to carry her downstairs to her bedroom.
Taylor, who played for Tampa Bay from 2001-07 and was part of the 2004 Stanley Cup team, said Brittany never lost her spirit.
"We're pretty proud of her," Taylor said. "She has her moments, but she has done so well. She's done amazingly well. She's so strong-minded."
For anyone who wants to keep up with Brittany's fight, go to caringbridge.org. On the right of the page is a place to "Visit a Website." Type in brittanytaylor1.