Written by: Laura Connors on Simple Sort of Living Blog
This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending an event, of which I’m still in a state of stimulated shock. In 2004, Taylor Price’s life changed forever. After diving into the shallow ocean water at the age of 18, Taylor was immediately rendered a C5-C6 quadriplegic. This past Saturday, friends, family, colleagues and former classmates all gathered in New York City to help commend the incredible obstacles and achievements Taylor has accomplished over the last 10 years. Upon initially seeing Taylor, he conveyed how slightly overwhelmed he was with the turnout of people, but how he couldn't be more eager or excited to get the night underway.
Between all the dancing and the drinking, the energy that filled the room that night was nothing short of contagious. Spirits couldn't be higher, company couldn't be better and smiles couldn't be bigger, as we all gathered to support and admire Taylor’s triumphs over the past decade. But it was when Taylor finally got before the crowd to make a speech, when that high intense energy quickly shifted to complete reverence. Peter Wilderotter, President and C.E.O of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation rattled off a laundry list of heroic successes before introducing Taylor.
Taylor opened his speech by giving thanks to all of us that were there and helping raise awareness to such a special organization. The combination of his words and his humble, genuine tone quickly left the room silent. There was nothing more real, nor raw, nor heartfelt that night, than the messages he delivered to a sea of hundreds. That state of awe, he embedded in us all, went beyond the scope of mind and ego, leaving everyone grasping onto what really matters most in life.
He cracked a few jokes that despite the common belief amongst 4 year olds, he indeed, is NOT a Transformer! However, it’s that fearless stigma that’s attributed with those toy robots, that he directly correlates to the plethora of opportunities he’s had to motivate and change people. “There are a lot of things I miss, but I love that I have the chance to inspire people and lead by example.” He continued his speech, by expressing how he refuses to accept dogmas and the dogma surrounding his future of not being able to get out of his chair and walk again. “I wanna go out and play golf, I wanna walk on the beach… I’m just waiting for that day that I know will come.”
But it was his final few thoughts that left everyone in the room that night utterly speechless. He discussed how he’s a firm believer in the cliché saying, “everything happens for a reason,” furthering that thought by saying, “there is so much more ahead for me, so many more things for me to do and to see, so many more people for me to help.” Taylor expressed how his life today is drastically different from one he had ever envisioned, but that it’s a life full of beauty, happiness and love and he couldn’t have made it to where he is, without the help and support of those that have continued to stand by him. “You can never do anything alone,” he said, “nobody goes through life doing things alone.”
It was Taylor’s composed string of thoughts that night, ranging from the hurdles he’s faced, to the bright future he foresees, to the inexpressible thanks he has, that years later, despite his accident how celebrated his life really is. A life that he stresses will continue to be lived to the fullest. “I will never have the words to thank everyone for what they’ve done, but I promise to keep doing my best and being my best self, as a form of repaying thanks.” I take this opportunity to thank Taylor, for continuing to empower individuals in every facet of life and encouraging us all to prosper our own selves, everyday, for the better.
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