Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cancer Survivor Knows Kids' Plight; Charity Project Her Way of Helping Youngsters on Same Scary Journey

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cancer Survivor Knows Kids' Plight; Charity Project Her Way of Helping Youngsters on Same Scary Journey

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey

When Taylor Scheibe brings donated toys to children being treated for cancer, or gives their families donated tickets to concerts or football games, she understands their pain without exchanging a word.

She has known the same pain.

Scheibe, now 24, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 10. She went through chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation before receiving a bone marrow transplant at Wolfson Children's Hospital in 2002.

In remission since 2003, she is now cancer-free and building a Jacksonville charity to bring joy to children and families on the same frightening path she once endured.

"It's an opportunity to give back and grow, appreciate why I had that journey," she said.

Scheibe, who attended LaVilla School of the Arts and graduated from First Coast High School, founded the With Love Charity in 2012. She has since incorporated and is seeking tax-exempt nonprofit status.

She and her friends host toy drives before Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas and bring the toys to children at Wolfson Children's Hospital, Nemours Children's Clinic and the Ronald McDonald House.

"They're [often] not allowed to have chocolate, flowers or balloons. So I thought it would be a great idea to donate toys," Scheibe said.

As event tickets are donated to the charity during the year, she finds out which families would most enjoy them - Florida State University football tickets would go to a family of FSU fans, for instance - and divvies them up accordingly. She has built a network of 60 or so families whose children are in and out of treatment.

She knows the importance of them taking an occasional break from the hospital "to get out and enjoy time together, to not stress out," she said.

At first, Scheibe's interaction with children and families dealing with cancer diagnoses brought back painful memories.

"It was very, very tough for me. I had emotional responses," she said.

But she came to relish the experience and began acting as an information resource of sorts for the families. She said parents have told her that what she does "means so much . …

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