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Jun 23, 2013

Jay Taylor. He was here to show us how it’s done!

He truly lived. Jay lived a life full of family, friends, music, infectious laughter and adventure! He was a generous and kind man who dedicated much of his life to helping others. Together, Team Jay honors the life of our dear friend.

Just last May, Jay felt something wrong and went to the doctor. After receiving several different possible diagnoses, Jay ultimately learned he was suffering from stage 4 lung cancer. Jay and his friends and family were shocked by the news. The Taylor family was no stranger to cancer.

Jay‘s life was touched by cancer earlier in life. In 2004, in honor of his mother’s second fight with cancer he joined Team in Training to raise money and support the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help wipe our blood cancers and improve the life of cancer patients and their families. Unfortunately, the Taylor family’s struggle continued. In 2009, Jay posted: “this past Thanksgiving, my dad got diagnosed with a rare cancer. He had surgery Christmas week and while he was in the hospital, my mom died from complications from the cancer she had been fighting for 4 years.”

Inspired by their fight, Jay continued his involvement with Team in Training and went on to raise nearly $13,000 for LLS. He ran 5 marathons, and served as a Coach, Captain, Mentor and Participant on both the marathon and triathlon teams. During his time with Team in Training, he was an important part of the heart and soul of our team that we all love so much. He was well known by his great laugh, warm nature, and kindness to others. He went to great lengths to help people. Once he unexpectedly ran 16 miles of the Austin Marathon course to help a runner that wasn’t going to make it on her own. He didn’t know her, but noticed her struggling as she passed the cheer station where he was rooting on racers. Thanks to Jay’s selfless act she completed the race that day. This is just one of many reasons why Jay touched everyone who knew him.

Jay running the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage Alaska, June 2011

After his diagnosis, Jay continued to enjoy life with his family and friends. He traveled often, going to Phish shows across the country, a trip to Maine with his family, and home to Monroe, Louisiana . He would still come out to Saturday practices from time to time and get a run in with the team. On one occasion after starting treatment, he took down two of the most difficult hills that every Austin runner has cursed at one point and time. Jay ran the dreaded Far West/Ladera Norte route with a smile on his face and never complained once. That fall he celebrated Halloween in true Jay fashion as Rowdy Roddy Piper at a party until the bar closed that night. He didn’t allow cancer to keep him from enjoying life.

Unfortunately, the chemo, radiation and clinical trials Jay had endured were not working as hoped and in February, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do. On March 28, Jay passed away at his Dad’s home in Monroe.

As Team Jay, we come together to carry on the fight where Jay left off. We are fighting in memory of Jay and his mother Sharon Allen Taylor, and in honor of his Dad, Jim Taylor. We fight in honor of all those who have fought, all those we have lost, and the many still fighting.

As part of Team Jay, his own Aunt Arden said it best , “If Jay were here, he’d be running. But he’s not, so we are!” Team Jay’s goal is together to raise $300,000 in support of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s mission to wipe out cancer.

Every donation, no matter the size makes a difference! Please help us reach our goal by making a contribution today and sharing Team Jay with others!

Jay performing "The Humpty Dance" at Karaoke for Cancer

Jay with his Dad, Jim Taylor

Jay and his sister, Tanya

Jay and his nephews Nathan and Cole

The Team paying tribute to Jay at the Herothon


Team Fundraising Total

Goal: $300,000.00
48 %
Donations: $143,559.02

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