You may remember about a month ago we told you the story of a Moose Jaw born resident who was in need of support. And not just any support, but the kind of care and fundraising that only Moose Jaw pulls off almost every time someone is in need in our community.
Her name is Shailynn Taylor and she's considered an inspiration to many who grew up with her or knew her while she called the Friendly City home.That same admiration can be found in the city of Calgary, which is where she moved to a few years ago for her post secondary education.
Taylor was born with a rare disease at the mere age of 18 months old, and her parents were given the devastating news that she may only live to be about 13 years old. Despite her condition working against her, Taylor is now 22 and finally receiving some much needed treatment, but it comes at a very high cost.
"I didn't quite realize how many people in this community were behind me, and behind my family until a treatment became available for my disease which is called Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA for short," exclaimed Taylor. "There was no funding for treatment, the government won't supply funding, there's no private insurer and it's currently over $60,000 an injection."
A committee quickly formed to do everything possible to support not only Taylor, but also her parents Brett and Shaunna, who work, live and constantly give back to our local community.
It was just over two weeks ago that Taylor received her first treatment after one failed attempt. It was a long journey for her to get there and she's got even further to go, but thankfully she isn't facing it alone.
This became extremely clear this past weekend as residents and visitors rushed to booths that were set up at Moose Jaw's Sidewalk Days and at the Mortlach Berry Festival. Taylor was in Mortlach greeting each person, sharing her story and praising every single person who made a donation.
Those who know Taylor also made positive comments on how healthy she looked, and the fact that she was carrying herself different since her first treatment - something that she and her immediately family have also noticed.
"Within 24 hours I started noticing differences. This was my first time being back in Moose Jaw since my first dose, and the number of people who've known me my whole life and came up to me and said you look different, you're sitting different, you're moving different. My mom was in tears the other day watching me in the vehicle because I'm so much more sturdy."
She noted that it's pretty amazing to see this much of a difference in herself with just one treatment. Her second dose is now on the horizon with the funding already in place, but she still needs another handful of treatments.
Her father said he's still in shock over the amount of people who have rushed to their aid or expressed an interest to help in any way they can, saying it's all come together so quickly and they couldn't be more grateful to those who have given their time, money and support.
"It's pretty overwhelming; it's surreal to think that in this short amount of time we've raised enough for two doses," said Brett Taylor, Shailynn's father. "We've just confirmed a second dose at the lower price of $63,000. The actually asking price is $120,000."
With such a lofty fundraising goal, Taylor's friends and family continue to keep pushing forward as they have various events and fundraisers planned until the end of the year, which can all be found on her the committee's Facebook page.
Taylor said that she wants to continue fighting for everyone who suffers from SMA and hopes that one day there can be a cure that's affordable for all who are suffering.