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In honor of Gabriel Taylor (2005-2011)

As many of you know, I spent the majority of Fall 2011 at the Columbus zoo, working with Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s FIGHTING FACES to document the experience of a day at the zoo for 12 children, all of whom are diagnosed with and fighting their individual battles with cancer.  That is how I met Gabriel.  Immedately I could tell  Gabriel was a charming and sophisticated 6 year old, blond and brave;.  He even went face to face with the Columbus Zoo’s very own Amur tiger.  

In December, Gabriel passed away.  I found out this morning and immediately wanted to carve out a place for his memory.  But when I looked, there was already an online tribute to his passing.  I must have scrolled for 20 minutes to read cherished words of all the people who will remember him and who have made donations in his honor.  In just 6 years, Gabriel was able to touch so many lives – in the most remarkable ways.  With sweet celebration – a few photos in his honor.

Gabriel’s Day at the zoo will be featured in the 2013 Calendar for Fighting Faces.

TAYLOR Gabriel Paul Taylor was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus early evening Friday, December 30, 2011, after a nearly 2 year battle with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). He passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends at his bedside. He was 6 years old. Gabriel was in Mrs. Ruhe’s first grade class at Olentangy Meadows Elementary School, where his favorite subjects included reading and math. His activities included karate, swimming, and playing with Nerf darts and video games. He especially enjoyed making people smile. Above all, he loved his family and friends, and knew that nothing was impossible with God. He attended Stonybrook United Methodist Church, where his strong faith was an incredible example to many. Gabriel’s smile was a constant reminder of hope, and he wanted everyone to be happy. Gabriel will always be loved and remembered by his mom and dad, Jeremy and Rhonda (Mizok) Taylor; little sister, Sarah; grandparents, Robert and Carolyn Mizok, Carl and Debra Taylor; great-grandfather, Donald Coen, Sr.; aunts, uncles and cousins, Roberta and Robert Fedoush (Jonathon and Benjamin), Robert and Jennifer Mizok (Aiden), Richard and Sonjia Mizok (Tara and Tyler), Jeffrey and Talia Taylor (Rielynn), Brandi and Charles Smith (Zachary and Kaitlyn), Joel and Jessica Taylor (Dakota and Xavier); numerous great uncles and aunts; and many friends. Gabriel was preceded in death by his cousins Harry and Haley Smith, great-grandparents Phyllis Coen, Paul and Margaret Mizok, Joseph and Dorothy Buracchio, H. Carl Taylor and Ruth Kelley.
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