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Daughter of ex-Tampa Bay Lightning captain Tim Taylor declared cancer free

Ex-Lighting captain Tim Taylor, right, with son Wyatt; daughter Brittany, diagnosed with cancer this year, and wife Jodi.

Special to the Times

Ex-Lighting captain Tim Taylor, right, with son Wyatt; daughter Brittany, diagnosed with cancer this year, and wife Jodi.

Tim Taylor did not want a misunderstanding, so he went through it one more time:

His daughter, Brittany, 15, cannot officially be considered in remission for five years. That is what the doctors explained, anyway. For now, all the former Lightning captain can say is Brittany is cancer free.

And that is more than enough.

"We're just really proud of her," Taylor said. "That's all."

Brittany was diagnosed in January with Stage III A Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that strikes the lymph nodes; in Brittany's case, it's above and below the diaphragm. The A designation means there are no significant symptoms from the cancer — not until the patient goes through chemotherapy and radiation, as Brittany did, and hair falls out and there is violent vomiting and body aches.

Taylor said he and Brittany, an avid hockey player, nightly watched the 2010 Olympics on television in February, after which his daughter was so weak he had to carry her to her bedroom.

So imagine the emotions when Taylor, wife Jodi and son Wyatt, 13, watch Brittany — her hair regrown but curly now — play right wing for a Double A midget team in their hometown, Stratford, Ontario.

"It taught us that life is too short to miss the chance to be around family all the time," said Taylor, who played for the Lightning from 2001-07 and was part of the 2004 Stanley Cup team. "And we learned a lot about her, too. It wasn't a good experience, but it was a life-learning experience."

"Going through treatment changes you dramatically," Brittany said. "You look at people different. You don't take anything for granted."

Brittany said she is thankful to friends in Canada and Tampa who supported her, and she was inspired watching even younger cancer patients walking the halls of the hospital with intravenous tubes in their arms and smiles.

"You pull strength from those little kids," she said.

How does Brittany feel?

"Basically fine," she said.

"The cancer is gone," Taylor said, "and the doctor said he doesn't have any signs or belief it will be back."

Daughter of ex-Tampa Bay Lightning captain Tim Taylor declared cancer free 11/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:58pm]
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