“It was a crazy time for me. Everything happened so fast but, in a way, it was a blessing because we didn’t have the time to sit and worry and wonder. This is just what we had to do.”
Imagine being 36 weeks pregnant and being told that you have leukemia. That nightmare is exactly what happened to Taylor Diercks, a nurse from Alabama. After being sick on and off for a while, Taylor knew something was wrong. Her doctors were unable to come up with a diagnosis and because she was pregnant and medications wouldn’t be good for her baby, they were powerless to do much for her. At her 36-week checkup, it was discovered that her blood pressure was high, and she was immediately hospitalized. After undergoing a multitude of tests, the next morning a doctor whom she had never met came to Taylor’s hospital room to tell her she had cancer.
Still in shock from her diagnosis, Taylor and her family were informed that before she could undergo treatment, she had to deliver her baby. After inducing labor that afternoon, the next day on December 9, 2018, Taylor gave birth to her daughter, Marlee Grace. Taylor was allowed to spend two days with her newborn baby girl before she was transferred to a hospital in Mobile, Alabama where she spent 29 days in the hospital and then underwent 4 rounds of chemotherapy. Taylor said, “It was a crazy time for me. Everything happened so fast but, in a way, it was a blessing because we didn’t have the time to sit and worry and wonder. This is just what we had to do.”
Taylor finished treatment in May 2019 and was doing great until the following October when she found herself in the emergency room, and within a week was told that her cancer had returned. This time, Taylor elected to undergo a stem cell transplant at MD Anderson in Houston where her social worker told her about Halo House. Two weeks after applying for housing, Taylor, her husband Cory, her grandmother, and her daughter Marlee all moved into Halo House. The Diercks were so thankful for their apartment at Halo House saying that is was much nicer and easier than the small temporary stay apartment they had been living in. Halo House was welcoming, comforting, and a safe place for their family and they loved attending events like the Thanksgiving dinner and volunteer hosted weekend brunches where they could meet people and get involved. Even if Taylor wasn’t feeling well or couldn’t be around many people, Cory could go down and grab special goodies for her. Taylor said, “Halo House is like a safe place. You know you have everything that you need, and if it’s not there, it is close by.”
Taylor received her Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant on December 30th, 2019 and this past February they received great news from the doctor that they were able to go home, only 60 days post-transplant. Now past day 100, Taylor is still doing great and enjoying her time back home in Alabama with her daughter and family.