Teenager Battling Cancer Crochets Gift Baskets For Families With Babies In The NICU


  • Tavinya Taylor was undergoing chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • With the COVID-19 lockdowns as well, this gave her a chance to give time to her other passions like crocheting.
  • She then used her talent and crocheted items for gift baskets to be given to families whose babies are in the NICU.

While fighting a battle of her own, a teenage girl from Illinois decided to help others who are struggling in their own fights. 

Tavinya Taylor, 16-year-old, used her talent in crocheting to make items that will be included in gift baskets for families whose babies are confined at the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It is also the same hospital where Tavinya is having her chemotherapy and according to the hospital she just had her fifth chemo cycle recently.

She does a wide variety of designs like tiny teddy bears, baby hats, booties, and others which she then puts on the baskets along with other baby essentials like nail clipper, soap, and rubber ducks. 

Photo Credit: Taylor Family

“I thought, ‘Why not do something fun that could bless others?’” Tavinya told the hospital. “That’s what I was trying to do — brighten their parents’ day and give them hope that it’s going to get better.”

Tavinya was a very athletic student but in September last year, she was having difficulty running for Wheaton North High School in cross country. 

She fell ill and was told two months later that she had Lyme disease. Then in March, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma which she said kind of gave her some relief knowing what she truly had. 

Photo Credit: Taylor Family

“I was so thankful to finally know what it was that I had. Not knowing what I had was almost worse than actually knowing,” Tavinya said.

So while she was confined at home, she took it as a chance to give time to one of her other passions — crocheting. The hospital’s child life specialist gave her the idea of where to put her talent in good use when she noticed her crocheting booties. 

“While I was stuck at home, I often wasn’t feeling well and I couldn’t see very well from the chemo,” Tavinya said. “I’ve been crocheting since I was 5 and knitting since I was 10 or 11, so it was an activity that helped pass the time that I didn’t have to actually look at.”

Photo Credit: Taylor Family

So far, she has created nine baby baskets because she also spends her time sewing, painting, and planting. 

“I marvel at Tavinya’s ability to think about others despite her own trials and circumstances,” Dr. Jones said. “She made each baby item out of such love, selflessness and compassion — all while fighting cancer.”

For Tavinya, the lockdowns due to COVID-19 have a positive side to it because it means she’s not the only one missing school and other activities plus she’s able to indulge in her other passions.

Source: PEOPLE.Com


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