It is a moment that will be embedded in my mind and heart forever. I was in grade 9 and Aimee was in grade 11. It was a regular afternoon as an awkward grade 9 girl navigating my way through a world of teenage confusion. A few of my friends and I went to this lunchtime program called Backstage that one of our teachers had started. It was a time we could get together to sing and to be heard in ways we knew how to express ourselves. I went often, but this one particular afternoon, Aimee Taylor left me with a feeling I couldn’t forget if I tried.
I knew Aimee because we were in the same highschool, because I looked up to her as an older girl in our school, but I knew Aimee mostly because of her voice. Aimee has the voice of an angel. That is one thing you need to know about Aimee. When she sings, she brings you into her world and it’s a special place to be. I first experienced this that one lunch hour at Backstage. Aimee sat at the piano and, so appropriately, sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel“. It is a beautiful song when sung by Sarah herself, but when Aimee sang it that day, there was an energy in the room that is indescribable.
Aimee decided that day to give everyone in that room the opportunity to know her. To really know her whether you’ve ever had a conversation with her or not. It didn’t matter. Aimee reached out to touch us all and she sang to each one of us personally urging us all to believe that “we would all be ok”. Unbeknownst to Aimee, her message that day wrapped me up and comforted me through ups and downs in the years that would follow.
Although I haven’t seen Aimee in years, we have many mutual friends and I have heard nice updates about her along the way. She pursued her singing, she married the love of her life and she gave birth to a sweet baby girl. Nothing can prepare you for the news that I received most recently about Aimee.
Aimee has cancer. It’s stage 4 cancer. Who decides these things?!?! It’s not fair. It never is!
Now it’s my turn to wrap Aimee up with hope, love and support in any way I can. I am hoping to spread the word and encourage anyone reading this message to reach out and help Aimee and her family! Please read the message below written by a good friend of Aimee’s:
Aimee Taylor, 33, is a friend of mine from UBC, where we studied Creative Writing together. She married her partner, Evani, after she finished the program. She and Evani are both talented musicians who both sing in the Lions Gate Chorus.
Aimee works in communications at the Child and Family Research Institute; she’s currently on leave after recently having her first child. Baby Alexa was born full-term and healthy a little over five months ago – she is the smiliest baby I’ve ever seen.
Since then, recovery has not been a smooth road; Aimee discovered in late June that the symptoms she had been experiencing were easily explained by recovery from a difficult labour followed by a C-section, which is why it was a complete surprise to learn that she had been diagnosed with cancer.
She was admitted to VGH with severe stomach pain, they found a tumour, and the cancer had spread. She underwent surgery to remove the tumour, and then had a PET scan to determine what the next steps would be. The scan determined that the cancer had not spread anywhere other than the liver; she will undergo chemo, followed by surgery to remove what they can from her liver. The challenging news is that it is a stage IV cancer – the most advanced kind, which means this will be a difficult fight. However, Aimee is a tough lady with much to fight for.
Aimee is kind and funny and creative. She is a talented writer and storyteller. And she is a devoted partner, mother, and friend. In hospital, she confided that she hadn’t begun to process this news for herself – her primary concern lay with Evani and Alexa, and how this would affect them.
Aimee would never ask for it, but she needs our help.
How YOU can help:
- Aimee is also no longer able to breastfeed Alexa; for more information, read her story in the Vancouver Sun. To donate breastmilk, email Margo at email@example.com.
- Her partner is now on leave with her, so funds are tight; Aimee’s brother has set up a fundraiser here: http://www.gofundme.com/3hqa1k.
- Donate Save-On Points that they can use toward gift cards for groceries (they live right next to a Save-On store), call 1-800-242-9229 and ask to put the points toward card number 480 0343 4081 (the second line of numbers is AC #X6VXNU)
- If you’d like to give meals or baby items, email firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate or add your name to the calendar that has been set up.
Thank you in advance to everyone who is able to contribute in any way!