Update December 7, 2017: Sadly, Taylor Hammond lost his battle with leukemia today. He turned 11 last month.
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Football aficionado Taylor Hammond has suffered from a rare form of leukemia since he was six years old, but you wouldn’t know that from the young man’s bright, cheerful demeanor. That energetic attitude was on full display this week as he ran scrimmage for the University of Southern California Trojans football team in the game of a lifetime.
“It was amazing, truly amazing,” Taylor told CBS2 reporter Joy Benedict from his home in Las Vegas.
Even while running a touchdown pass with the Trojans, he had to wear a mask to prevent “germs” from making him sick. Taylor has gone through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, spinal taps and a bone marrow transplant. The ten-year-old has had to give up a lot, but he keeps a positive attitude for himself and others.
“If I’m sad, everyone else is sad, so I chose to look on the brighter side.”
The game, a year in the making, was made possible when Taylor had his bone marrow transplant last fall and the Hammonds ran into USC’s defense line coach Kenechi Udeze, himself a leukemia survivor.
It was part of Taylor’s “life list” he and his family started in June after doctors told them he had exhausted all treatments for his illness. “We don’t know how long he has,” his father said. “We don’t know what’s gonna happen with him, so we’re just trying to enjoy all the time that we get.”
In the last few months, Taylor has been to Hawaii, ridden roller coasters, and he even met Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Taylor said the champion boxer told him, “A true champion can adapt to anything.”
And adapt he has. “I don’t look at it that way,” he says of his medical journey. “I just go on with life.”
Fight on, Taylor!
If you want to keep up to date with Taylor’s progress or contribute to his family’s GoFundMe page, please visit the following links:
Team Hammond GoFundMe page
Taylor’s Facebook Page
Credit: Some video clips in this story courtesy of reporter Keely Eure with USCFootball.com.
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