GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Michael Taylor, 18, is described as a "gentle giant" from Gastonia. Loves hanging with friends, has a passion for sports and is a recent graduate of Piedmont Community Charter.
Michael's dashing smile hides the secret he lives with: cancer.
Sometimes, time is of essence in posting about our newest #MollysKids, and Michael's mom said "sooner might be better" for us to meet her son.
"He has had health complications his whole life," mom Laura said. "These newest tumors are just the latest and worst battle."
As a child, Michael was diagnosed with Noonan Syndrome. That's a disorder typically associated with developmental delays. But the bigger concern right now is his neurofibromatosis. That's a condition that causes tumors to grow in the nervous system. Some of our other amazing #MollysKids in the area have had this same thing – it can be brutal.
Michael has been living with this his whole life - tumors in all different places. Recently behind his brain and eye. But in February, his lung collapsed. When doctors went to perform surgery on what they thought was a softball-sized abscess in the lung, they soon realized it was actually a cancerous growth. Another tumor. He underwent chemo treatments, but sadly, it has grown.
"This has really taken the wind out of our sails," said Laura.
Michael's only other option is to be part of a clinical study for a new drug. It's offered in Greenville, SC. He has met with doctors there and is soon scheduled to start the medication.
"It'll hopefully target Michael's exact mutation," Laura said. "It's the best thing we've heard yet."
Laura is candid in her updates, and says currently her son is having a tough time, coughing lots. But they want to have hope in this medication.
Keep hanging in there, Michael.
**Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**