North Union girl inspires others after cancer scare
An active pre-teen in school, at home and in the community, Taylor Eagle, 12, of North Union never dreamed that she would be making a trip to her doctor to be checked for breast cancer.
Cancer can and does affect people from all walks of life and of all ages, and it's never too early to practice caution and follow up on concerns. Taylor Eagle's mother, Kristen, is glad that they took her mother's advice to have her daughter examined by a doctor.
“She had a small mole and my mother, who has been a nurse for 42 years said, ‘You need to take her and get her checked,' ” Kristen Eagle said, adding that the tests came back abnormal.
The mole was removed, but the family was then informed a short time later that it contained precancerous tissue.
“I didn't think twice about having the abnormal cells removed,” Taylor said, adding that after the tissue was removed several months ago, she now only has a small scar and a positive prognosis. “Right now, you can barely even see it.”
Family friend and Uniontown Fire Chief Chuck Coldren heard of Taylor's situation and contacted the family.
“We have been involved with cancer awareness for several years,” Coldren said of the department. “Firefighters have a very high rate of cancer, so it is something that we are always aware of. I heard about Taylor, and I felt so sorry for her. She is so young and such an active girl, and we wanted to do something for her.”
The department presented Taylor with a special pink firefighter's helmet that bears her name, and it is now something that she cherishes.
“I keep it on my dresser with all of my trophies,” Taylor said. “I think its really pretty.”
“We thought it would be a nice idea,” Coldren said of the helmet. “We had it made special for her.”
Although the young lady is presently enjoying a life being cancer-free, she still must visit her doctors on a regular basis for checkups and screenings.
“We go to the doctors now every six months,” Kristen Eagle said, adding that they are so grateful for all of the support that they received from family, friends, schools and members of the community.
“You never think that this can happen to your little girl. Early detection is so very important and if you are suspicious of anything abnormal, no matter what your age, you should have it checked. You have to be so careful. It's important,” she said.
Taylor hopes to become an advocate of early detection, talking to other teens about the importance of vigilance.
“It's never too early,” Taylor said. “ You can't think that you are too young because cancer can affect everyone.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.