Cancer survivor and alumna Lauryn Taylor '17 launches inspirational-based clothing brand that raises funds for pediatric cancer, mental health
Alumna Lauryn Taylor, '17, along with her mom, Antonette, and brother, Brandon, have recently launched an inspirational based clothing brand that is raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer and mental health.
The brand is called Always Love Being, and is a lifestyle brand “that cares deeply about inspiring others to believe in themselves and build their inner strength with empowering messages one t-shirt at a time.”
A few months after graduating from Resurrection in 2017, Lauryn was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer that starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow.
“It was a couple months after I graduated from RES, so I was shadowing my college and getting ready to start that whole journey, and everything just turned upside down,” Lauryn said.
Lauryn battled for about nine months, going through chemo treatments, and then entered into remission. She started taking college classes, had a normal semester of school, and about a year and a half later, everything happened again, she said.
“The same thing, it just came back. When it comes back the second time, transplant is the route of treatment, and then I battled for almost a year or so,” Lauryn said. “It was a long process, but it definitely helped me so much to have my family, and also RES was a huge part of it. My time at RES gave me the empowerment I needed in myself to really believe in myself and preserve and keep my faith with God.”
Lauryn received a stem cell transplant through a donor from Be The Match and was finally on the road to recovery after almost a four year on-and-off battle with cancer.
“After my battles, we were just reflecting on how I got through everything and a lot of it was affirmations and words of encouragement from people, and really just developing an inner strength on how I talked to myself,” Lauryn said. “My inner dialogue was huge, and so as I recovered and as I got better, we wanted to inspire that same kind of words of encouragement in other people, but also give back to the charities that helped me along the way, so we decided to do a t-shirt company.”
Twenty-five percent (25%) of the net profit from the sale of all Always Love Being products is given to one of the following non-profit organizations in support of raising awareness and funding research for pediatric cancer and mental health: Be The Match, Cal's Angels, and This Is My Brave.
“That was a huge part, if not the biggest part, of me being able to recover and be okay. They facilitate donors for a variety of transplant needs,” Lauryn said.
Secondly, Cal's Angel's generous program also provided her family with support. Cal’s Angels is a non-profit pediatric cancer foundation with a mission of granting wishes, raising awareness, and funding research to help kids fighting cancer. They helped Lauryn get a Macbook when she was sick, which allowed her to resume college by taking classes online.
Additionally, Always Love Being supports This Is My Brave, which is a non-profit organization that uses the performing arts to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction. This organization was chosen by Lauryn’s brother Brandon, who is also part founder of the company.
The messaging on the shirts include inspirational phases such as, ‘Invincible Mindset’ and ‘Unstoppable Resilience.’ Lauryn said her and her family typically start with a word.
“For example, we ended up really liking the word ‘resilient,’ and so we think about how I was resilient during that time, and how my mom was resilient in supporting me during that time,” Lauryn said. “A lot of the time, it’s really asking ourselves what has really built us up in the times that we needed it most and what message would correlate to what we needed.”
The brand’s main goal is to break the barriers of self limitation by empowering and inspiring others to believe in themselves and become the fullest expression of themselves. The hope is to encourage self love and build self resiliency by creating a positive mindset through powerful messages.
Lauryn said in grade school she definitely struggled with self-confidence, and by attending an all-girls high school she felt so comfortable, and didn’t even realize at the time “the journey that I would start into becoming a person that believes in themselves. That is just something I did not think was feasible.”
Lauryn’s goal for herself is to be a voice for pediatric cancer. She also hopes to grow a social media platform to get her story out to more people and connect with other survivors in a way she otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
“I think that it is something that we all know about, but it is often hard, and almost impossible, to relate to unless you’ve been through it. I think me being able to be that voice and be that person that is thriving after having gone through it is a very powerful message, so my goal is to just reach as many people as possible with my story and I would love to be sharing it on way bigger platforms, and kind of just use the skills I built at RES, too, of I am an empowered woman not afraid to share anything that I would like to share,” she said.
The brand's 2022-2023 annual giving goal is to donate $10,000. Five years from now, Lauryn said, ideally the goal would be to increase their donation goal and get the brand to a place where they are widely enough known to actually interact with the charities directly and support them and the patients themselves as much as possible.