The boy who always has his hand over his face. The one who always wears the hoodie. The kids who gets in fights all the time. The guy who yells back at the principal. These are ways that kids at his local high school described Taylor Pierre. The teen looked different and had been teased for as long as he could remember, making him deeply angry and insecure.
Not anymore! With the vital help of doctors at Children’s this past year, Taylor’s story went from bad to good. Now, he is even excited about the new school year and already has his sights set on that big school dance.
Taylor has bravely agreed to share his story, and we at Children’s hope that his experience will help spread a better understanding of the hurt bullying can cause.
How it Started
One day when Taylor was 5, his body began to shiver even though he wasn’t cold. His grandmother noticed and told his mother, Cheryl Cox. “My mom said his body was just shaking when he was playing with his toys and that his balance seemed off,” Cheryl says.
The worried mom made an appointment with her son’s pediatrician, who said he probably had an ear infection. But the medicine the doctor prescribed didn’t stop Taylor’s trembling or balance issues. A few weeks later, his day care center called Cheryl. He was vomiting uncontrollably and acting unusually lethargic. “I said, ‘I’m not going to take him back to the same doctor. I’m going to take him to Children’s,’ ” Cheryl recalls.
A CT scan revealed a tumor the size of a lemon on Taylor’s brain. “I remember that moment so vividly,” she says. “They came back, and instead of one person, it was four people coming to tell me. My stomach just dropped.”
The Children’s Neurosurgery team operated on Taylor the next day, removing almost the entire tumor. They were relatively confident that, with follow-up chemotherapy, it would not grow back.
It’s a New Day: Part 2 covers an insatiable itch that replaced the tumor and led to Taylor’s left nostril literally rotting away. Part 2 also covers the emotional stress Taylor experiences at school.