In Her Own Words

Earlier today, the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation shared Emily’s journey with all of its local followers in the Bay Area.  Below is the letter that went out via email – Emily’s story, told in her own words.  Enjoy..

Three short months ago, I was leading a happy and healthy life as your average all-American girl.  I grew up in Northern Idaho before leaving my small town roots to attend college in Southern California.  My athletic abilities and competitive nature earned me a spot on the college volleyball team.  While in school, Miles Taylor, a player on the men’s basketball squad, caught my eye, and he’s been by my side ever since.

We married on the 4th of July, found jobs, rented an apartment, adopted a dog, hosted weekly game nights for friends, planned camping trips in the summer, and stayed healthy and active playing recreational volleyball (me), basketball (Miles), and co-ed softball (together).  From the beginning, Miles and I were in sync that we wanted a big family and soon began looking for our dream house for the future little ones.  In June of this year, we found the perfect place and prepared to make an offer.

That is when the all-American fairytale took an unexpected turn.  The very same week, I went to the doctor for a pain behind my shoulder blade and a persistent cough that I thought was the result of allergies.  I was diagnosed with asthma, and given an inhaler, but something in my gut told me to ask for a chest x-ray.  Four days later, after a CT scan and biopsy, I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I was in shock – I am 28 years old, active, and have never smoked.

I jumped on treatment as quickly as possible, but my first concern was to preserve my fertility for the family Miles and I had been so eagerly awaiting.  I started fertility treatments immediately, and 10 days later we were lucky enough to freeze nine viable embryos for our future family.

Since my diagnosis, family, friends, colleagues, and teammates have rallied to blanket me and Miles in love and support.  They bring meals and water, wash our cars and bathe the dog, clean the apartment, and contribute to an engaging website, created by my friend and former teammate Annie Daun.  Miles and I are steadfast in our belief that we will someday have the family of our dreams, and that with your support, together we will all beat lung cancer, big time.

No one should have to go through lung cancer.  Not me, not Bonnie, not Jill or Gabby, not the countless other people who have been affected by this disease. But in my opinion, everyone who has been diagnosed should be so lucky to have the amazing resources available at BJALCF and Jill’s Legacy.  I have been incredibly fortunate to have their support, along with the care of my amazing doctors at City of Hope, UCSF, UC Davis, and Mt. Sinai.

Please join me for a 5K on September 16th in Golden Gate Park as I team up with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation to kick cancer.  CLICK HERE to join Team EmBen or make a donation to the cause

Thank you for supporting the cause and finding a CURE.

Much love.  Live in the moment.

Emily “EmBen” Taylor

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