Why must some of our best and brightest young people endure so much misfortune and suffering? It seems almost divine compensation, then, that these people, children really, face painful and unjust fate with optimism, good cheer and courage so extraordinary it would test the bravest adults.
Taylor Block, a Catskill High School student and athlete, first became aware that something was wrong late last year when she began having knee pain. Active in sports, she was no stranger to physical discomfort. The pain subsided for a while, but then it returned, so her parents Brian and Christine Block, took her to a doctor. Last November, Taylor was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Taylor is undergoing chemotherapy at Albany Medical Center, and she will also need surgery on her knee. After that, doctors will try to rebuild the knee. For a young athlete, this can be devastating.
But Taylor, we’re happy to report, is made of sterner stuff. She possesses the strength of spirit to meet the challenge head-on.
“She is a pillar of strength that we are not,” Taylor’s grandmother, Barbara Marcello, said at the Taylor Strong fundraiser Saturday. “She has a terrific attitude. She worries about us more than her. She is a terrific young lady.”
Because of her treatment and long recovery time, Taylor Block stands to lose a significant part of life as a student-athlete, but she is driven by some inner flame that the word “faith” seems too weak to describe. She accepts what lies ahead of her with grace, humor and a truckload of self-confidence. That’s all the more reason we won’t be surprised if she returns to athletics sooner rather than later. Anyone in her place could easily cry, Why me? and give up. Taylor Block isn’t into pity parties. Surrender isn’t in her DNA. Like the best athletes, she will keep fighting, keep scrapping. That’s what makes her terrific.