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Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

 
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Angels in our Midst (Evan Taylor)

Updated: Monday, August 19 2013, 08:06 PM CDT
A University of West Florida electrical engineering student has firsthand knowledge of the devastating effects of cancer and the emotional toll of treatment.
   
He took that knowledge and a newly found talent and created a gift from an Angel in our Midst.
Evan Taylor, Cancer Survivor;  I was a leukemia patient.  I was diagnosed in sixth grade and went through treatment here all the up til high school.

Now 19 years old, Evan Taylor remembers vividly those years in and out of Children's Hospital and the countless hours in the chemo room at Nemours Children's Clinic.
   
I remember it was always, kind of, not the happiest place to be for me.  And one thing that makes me happy is the fish and the sea.

So, that first year he began doodling and drawing those things that made him happy.  His oncologist, Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz encouraged him to continue and when he was contacted by the Make a Wish Foundation, he knew what he wanted to do.

My first idea was Guy Harvey because I loved his work.
He actually arranged for us to go to this house in the Grand Caymans and go fishing with him.  

I caught my first Blue Marlin with him and a Wahoo and my sister caught a Barracuda.
The next day we went to his gallery and he gave me a couple of lessons there.

Evan had a wonderful experience but he didn't pursue his art.  He got back into sports when his health improved  until three months ago after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and the memories came pouring back.

So, I decided to bring a little bit of what gave  me happiness, back to here.
Here; in the chemo room.  He got permission to transform one of the blank walls into a sea of happiness.

 A little girl named Tatiana, I let her name this fish.
Evan is creating images for the children to focus on and maybe, just for a little while, take their minds to a peaceful place, away from their fears and troubles.

I feel like I have a connection with these kids because I know where they've been.  I know how hard it is,

Just to see the kids' faces; the reactions to them,  I've met; probably the best thing out of this is I've met some amazing kids.  And it's really touched me ...

Evan says the mural has also helped him as he walks with his mom on her cancer journey.  He believes this is God's gift to him to give to others.

Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair and then you get a chance to actually touch some kids' lives and it makes everything worthwhile.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.
Angels in our Midst (Evan Taylor)


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