STOCKBRIDGE — In March, the Henry Herald brought to you the story of Alexis Taylor, a former student-athlete at Woodland High School and current Reinhardt University student fighting against DIPG.
The fight continues on for Taylor and her family and we were updated on the progress Taylor has made by her mother, Maurissa Woodring. The fight against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) has been tough though for the family but Taylor hasn’t stopped fighting and neither has her mother.
“In a six week period of time, she lost most basic functions like walking and talking,” Woodring said. “We took part in a trial where they took DNA and tested her tumor to try to target the specific DNA in the tumor, but because she was progressing so quickly we had to stop the trial. We then opted to do another round of radiation to at least stall the tumor to allow us one more chance to fight.”
Woodring spoke of when her daughter lost the ability to talk, calling it the hardest part of the battle they’re facing. The stage Taylor went into was called the “locked-in” phase, and not knowing how her daughter feels is upsetting, Woodring said.
“Mentally, it’s tough but I have to trust God and his plan,” Woodring said. “The biggest thing is to not lose hope because that’s all we have. I keep a positive and encouraging attitude because I feel like a lot of the battle takes place in the mind. I have to be strong for her and my other children. If she can remain encouraged and strong, then there is no place for my fears or tears.”
With support pouring in from the Woodland High lacrosse and basketball programs, Woodring acknowledges that the village around her has been there for her more than she could have hoped for. Another source of strength has been her own mother.
“Day in and out she is here fighting with us,” Woodring said. “She reminds me of what the phrase ‘there is nothing like a mother’s love’ truly means.”
It’s still a major test that Woodring has to go through. For every aspect of her life, she’s just fighting it all but the smile from Taylor in the morning humbles her.
“She is actually my strength. She reminds me daily that no matter what life throws at you being angry or sad won’t change it,” Woodring said. “Finding joy in the little things is what life is about. She has never complained or felt sorry for herself, so that means I can’t either. Now that she is regaining the ability to talk, just hearing her sweet voice say ‘I love you’ is all I need to keep going.”