Chris Taylor, a native of Virginia Beach and current MLB player, has a passion for helping kids with cancer…
A few years ago a group of my closest childhood friends from Virginia Beach flew out to Houston to watch me play in the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros. One of those friends was Kyle Profilet. I didn’t know it yet, but Kyle had recently been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer in his right leg. He said he didn’t want to tell me about it while I was playing in the postseason. Kyle never wanted anyone’s sympathy. Throughout his 2 and a half year battle, he repeatedly spared me and our friends the constant exacerbating news from the doctors. News that the chemo treatments were not working. News that he was going to lose his right leg. News that the cancer had spread to his lungs, and then to his brain. Despite it all, Kyle never lost hope. He was the toughest guy I’ve ever known and he fought til the very end.
Four years ago, I had never heard of sarcoma. Now, it has affected my life on many different levels. This past year, I had to watch my girlfriend get the same phone call I had received just a year earlier. I knew right away. Mary’s childhood friend, Brian, had also lost his fight with sarcoma. As she was sobbing in my arms, I couldn’t fathom how this seemingly “rare” disease constantly kept crawling back into my life. My neighbor and friend, Dalton Fox, is currently fighting for his life and has been an inspiration in his own right. Dalton lives on the same street as my parents and like Kyle, also lost his leg in his fight with Ewing sarcoma. My parents often see Dalton riding his arm bike in the neighborhood wearing his Dodgers gear with a big smile on his face. Even though we lost Kyle and many others, there are still so many kids that can be saved from this devastating disease. Maybe it’s not sarcoma, but some form of cancer has had an impact on all of us. I’m determined to not let Dalton, or anyone else go through this fight alone. Together, we can save lives.
About Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD)
Over the past 50 years, CHKD has grown into a 206-bed teaching hospital that is the heart of an extensive pediatric healthcare system. Every day, dozens of children are admitted to our hospital and thousands more are cared for at our primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, urgent care centers, specialty clinics, and multi-service health centers in Virginia Beach, Newport News, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Williamsburg, Hampton, Suffolk, and Elizabeth City, NC. The Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at CHKD is the region’s top referral center for pediatric cancer, sickle cell disease, and blood disorders and follows more than 500 pediatric cancer patients each year. Many of CHKD’s services and programs address pressing public health needs that would otherwise go unmet.
About Roc Solid Foundation
Roc Solid Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that builds hope for kids fighting cancer. Founded by pediatric cancer survivor Eric Newman, the organization is best known for giving Ready Bags to families when their child is first diagnosed, as well as providing backyard playsets to kids during treatment. Roc Solid is based in Virginia but is growing both programs nationwide with the vision to build hope for every child diagnosed with cancer in the U.S.
This year, Roc Solid will distribute 2,000 Ready Bags at diagnosis, providing the necessities to stay in the hospital unexpectedly, but also letting families know they are not alone as they begin a terrifying journey. The organization is also set to distribute nearly 500 playsets to kids fighting cancer in 2021. Why playsets? Because kids fighting cancer need a safe, germ-free place to play. And when they're playing, cancer is the last thing on their minds.