On December 9, 2004, 18-month-old Nolan Taft was diagnosed with a malignant Wilms Tumor that grows at a fast pace in an infant’s kidney. Just one week later, Nolan underwent a six-hour surgery where the tumor and his right kidney were removed, along with a portion of his liver and diaphragm, several lymph nodes and part of his bowel. His pathology report came back indicating that there was a 90% chance that the tumor would not return within the first year. Nolan was prescribed six radiation treatments and 26 weeks of chemotherapy during which he had a weakened immune system.
After Nolan finished his radiation and had two chemotherapies, he had to be rushed back to the hospital for a second surgery and remained in the hospital for eight more days. Obviously, these unexpected and expensive medical emergencies were beginning to add up for this young family.
At Cleveland’s 2nd Annual Betterment event, guests joined together to help Nolan’s family fight the battle ahead of them. Funds raised gave the Tafts the ability to pay for uninsured expenses such as special dietary needs for Nolan, and simple things like parking at the hospital for his treatments which were totaling upwards of $40/day.
“Betterment for us really encompasses the spirit of giving....of enhancing and improving lives,” commented Nolan’s mom Courtney.
Both she and Nolan’s dad, Jason have dedicated their lives to giving to their community. Courtney works with homeless teens at Bellefaire JCB, a child welfare agency and former Betterment recipient organization. And, Jason is a police officer in a neighboring community.
“Our involvement in our community is limited right now, but we both continue to give back through our careers,” said Courtney. “And we look forward to giving of our time a little more once Nolan has finished his treatments.”
“All of the people involved in Betterment carry the mission of giving with them at all times.” ~Courtney Taft