Editor’s Note: Global News has spoken with Taylor’s family and while they are grateful for all the love and support, they do not want a large crowd of people showing up for the Halloween event because they want it to be as normal as possible for their very sick daughter.
Many people have bucket lists: things, big and small, they want to accomplish before their time on earth comes to an end. But when that wishlist belongs to a child whose days are numbered, it can take a village to help make it a reality.
That’s what is happening this weekend in Sherwood Park for a terminally ill girl named Taylor. A letter was dropped off at homes in the Summerwood neighbourhood, asking residents to come together for an early Halloween.
“Dear Neighbours, We have a sweet little girl on our street named Taylor,” the letter begins.
“She has been fighting a losing battle with brain cancer. Taylor has made a bucket list of things that she would really like to do with the time she has left, which includes celebrating all her favourite holidays.”
The letter goes on to explain how on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m., Taylor is going to celebrate Halloween by dressing up and going trick-or-treating on the street.
“She is in a wheelchair, so coming to your front door is not an option. Anyone wanting to help make Taylor’s day special is invited to open their garage door and have a few candies on hand. You are welcome to dress up and decorate your yard with Halloween decorations for the day,” the letter said.
“Thank you for sharing your kindness and community spirit, and helping to make a little girl’s wishes come true.”
Residents Jess and Brad Kauffman received the letter and are preparing to help make the girl’s Halloween a reality.
The family hasn’t even met Taylor, but they are on board.
“I read the letter, went out and washed the car, came back and my wife was already working on sending out invitations,” Brad Kauffman said. “Who can we connect with? She is a very action-oriented person with a huge heart so this is what happens.”
The couple began reaching out to garner support. They have three children themselves, including a daughter about the same age as Taylor.
“It just hits home,” Jess Kauffman said, her voice thick with emotion.
“When you have children the same age – it just hits you right in heart thinking, ‘it could be our daughter, it could be our son.’ So for us, it was a gut-wrenching feeling for that family, but at the same time we’re a ‘love wins’ family and we wanted to make this day absolutely beautiful for Taylor.”
“There may be other celebrations to follow in the coming weeks, such as lighting up Christmas lights a little early etc. We will try to inform you of any events that Taylor is able to do,” the letter also said, adding those who are unable to participate are encouraged to donate to the Sherwood Park Terry Fox Run.