Taylor fighting cancer with hope and faith

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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Sitting on the patio, with a soft breeze blowing throw the screen, and Laurie by his side as he sipped ice water, David is at peace with the road that lies ahead.

Garrett Mitchell

Sitting on the patio, with a soft breeze blowing throw the screen, and Laurie by his side as he sipped ice water, David is at peace with the road that lies ahead.



Life couldn't have been better for David Taylor.

Taylor and his wife, Laurie, owned New Day Physical Therapy at 300 North Main Street.

His business was thriving, and Taylor was beloved by his patients for giving them a better quality of life.

But it wasn't until he received the most devastating news of his life that Taylor realized he could make an even bigger impact.

Earlier this summer Taylor, 50, was suffering from lower back pain, nausea and a loss of appetite. He went to the emergency room, expecting a normal diagnosis and an easy fix. It was anything but.

“That night in the emergency room I received the most shocking news I could probably receive," he said.

Taylor was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. The median survival time is three to six months. It was a grim scenario, but Taylor turned to his faith.

"In my mind, I know that God has a plan," he said. "David's plans and God's plans don't always coordinate, but I knew that."

David, from the Syracuse, N.Y., area, and Laurie, a Niagara Falls native, moved from Florida to Greer 12 years ago, where they have reared two sons, Chase, 18, and Bryce, 12.

David opened New Day Physical Therapy – the culmination of a dream.

"The emphasis of our practice was we specialized in conventional as well as alternative forms of physical therapy and helped people with their conditions," David said.

“Laurie and I started the practice from the ground up and really, it's amazing what the practice brought to us in so many ways. It was like a ministry.”

Taylor was so confident in the success of New Day that he signed a new 10-year lease just before his cancer diagnosis.

David and Laurie were left with no choice but to sell New Day to friends who owned their own physical therapy practice in Spartanburg.

Now able to concentrate on his illness, Taylor knew the odds were stacked against him. His sister died from pancreatic cancer just three months after her diagnosis.

He resolved to fight because he says it is a chance to show bravery while offering hope to others suffering from the same disease.

“I feel that the road ahead hopefully will be long,” he said. “A lot of people don't want a long road of torture, but I do need a long road of torture to make something happen here.

“My goal is to know this is a palliative situation, but right now I would like to bank my life in terms of, OK, let's get by certain markers … three months, six months, 10 months, a year, a year becomes two, two years become five years."

The Taylors said they weren't hasty in making treatment decisions but knew time was of the essence. They decided to use conventional and non-traditional treatments, fueled by a frustration of being unable to get consultations at some of the large cancer centers.

“What we didn't like about some of the medical centers is there is a waiting period just to get in for a consult. And they don't put pancreatic cancer above breast cancer or any other cancers when pancreatic cancer appears to already be in advanced stages when most people are first diagnosed," Laurie said.

David said he is bothered that there are fewer research funds for pancreatic cancer. It’s the ninth most common form of cancer, but it accounts for the fourth most cancer deaths.

He wants to use his remaining time to foster hope for those in his situation.

“There are no support groups or any type of awareness groups and things to that extent or fundraising groups coming out to help this thing,” David said. "I think, does God have a plan here? I don't know if this is part of it, but I can be part of that plan to increase awareness and increase our numbers for fundraising and research in the area."

At the same time, David's former patients and the Greer community are becoming aware of his struggle. They are rallying to help the man who helped so many of them.

David's “Cancer Crusaders” have spearheaded a fundraising effort to help with medical expenses and have organized several events.

The first fundraising event is at Moe's in Simpsonville on Thursday. Fifteen percent of the proceeds made between 5-9 p.m. will go to David's medical costs. A similar event is planned at Mutt's BBQ, and the Kiwanis Club of Greer is hosting a spaghetti dinner and silent auction on Sept. 17 from 5-8 p.m.

“There's a good community of people here who, it seems, value their relationship with David. Many are patients and patient friends who feel like David has given to them in so many ways that they want to do something from their hearts to give back and show their support for him," Laurie said.

David said he is making the best of his situation and will follow whatever path God calls him toward.

Sitting on the patio, with a soft breeze blowing through the screen, and Laurie by his side as he sipped ice water, David is at peace with the road that lies ahead.

"There's something about me having pancreatic cancer. I'm with it right now, and I have it for a reason," David said. "Now it's a matter of what I do with it, to answer the call again.

“What does the Lord want from this? I need to be on board with his plan.”

Want to help?

Keep track of David's progress, fundraising efforts, or donate directly to David at www.davidtaylorgreersc.com.





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