Today we’d like to introduce you to Brad Taylor.
Hi Brad, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My three year old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in December of 2017. Lily spent just over a month living in Banner Desert Children’s Hospital fighting to become stable in order to begin her outpatient treatment program, a program she would undergo for the next two and a half years.
As Lily’s treatment progressed, the chemotherapy she received daily attacked not only the cancer she was fighting but also her immune system. This immune compromised state forced Lily away from the activities and friends that she loved, and it became increasingly difficult to motivate her to go to the hospital to receive her treatment. She was forced to give up seeing her peers, going to public places and what she loved to do the most, play on a public playground with other “new friends”.
For 10 months, my wife and I struggled to find ways to keep her occupied, happy, and recovering not only from the disease but from the psychological struggles that came with Lily being confined to her home. On October 30, 2018 Lily returned to preschool after almost a year of isolation. Our once social butterfly had now become shy, scared, and terrified of crowds, noise and the chaos of a school environment. It became obvious to us that there was a missing piece in the treatment plan for these young patients battling an autoimmune state.
I’m proud to say that my daughter is now cancer free but my family and I are still on a mission to make the world a better place for immune compromised children. In the same month that Lily was declared cancer free, she cut the ribbon to the 5800 square foot space that has been donated to us to renovate and build out into Lily’s Pad; a hyper clean indoor playground for all medically fragile children living with isolation and quarantine.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There is nothing about Lily’s journey that was smooth. She lost her hair twice, her liver started to fail due to her treatments and she lost hearing due to a fungal ear infection that her immune system couldn’t fight. It was a long and hard road, but she persevered and she beat cancer!
Lily’s Pad is no different. Just after forming our nonprofit, we met Sterling Phillips, who saw our vision and decided to donate us a space to build our playground, rent free for 13 years. We immediately began seeking in-kind sponsors and donors and our project seemed to take off. No sooner had we cut the ribbon, the COVID-19 pandemic slammed into our state, shutting down many of our potential donors and bringing our production to a standstill. The family catering business that was helping to sponsor the work going into creating Lily’s Pad was forced to close and we were all faced with the reality of how hard it would be build this facility.
After almost a year of scraping by, I’m happy to say that Lily’s Pad now has a full time employee dedicated to the task of getting the facility built and fundraising efforts have begun again in earnest. I never lost faith in my daughter’s ability to beat cancer and I refuse to lose faith that Lily’s Pad will overcome these obstacles and became a beautiful place full of love and laughter for immune compromised children across the Valley.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I am the founder and President of Lily’s Pad. We are a nonprofit dedicated to building a hyper clean indoor playground for children who are immune compromised. This facility will be built specifically to cater to children with medical conditions that weaken their immune system such as cancer, congenital heart defects, pediatric burns, organ transplants and more. We will be offering counseling in an effort to focus on the emotional and mental health side of the children who come to play as well as that of their caregivers. It is our hope that we will become a missing piece in the holistic approach to the healing of these children and that our facility will be a place to form friendships and community with a population accustomed to living mostly in isolation.
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
We have so many needs right now! Lily’s Pad has been fortunate enough to have an architectural and engineering team donate their services. They have created a beautiful rendering and building plan for us and we are now working to implement it and get this place up and running!
In-kind sponsorships are incredible gifts as they lower our overall expenditures. Right now, we pretty much need everything: electricians, plumbers, laborers, etc. If anyone wants to donate those services, we can significantly lower the cost of our build out. And of course, cash donations are incredibly helpful as we have a big capital campaign going right now in order to raise the funds we need. All donations are tax deductible as we are an approved charity with the IRS.
- $5 donations – Lily’s personal campaign
- $1000 donation – Trixie’s $1000 club
- $10,000 donations or more will be recognized in our facility
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://lilyspadaz.org/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilyspadaz/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lilyspadaz
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LilysPadAZ
Architekton of Tempe (for the rendering)