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Little girl, big win

6-year-old celebrates victory over cancer with parade

Cancer free

Lauren Taylor, age 6, seated left, celebrates being cancer-free during a drive-thru event at LaGarde Park in Anniston. Lauren is with her mother, Nastashia Talley, and 3-year-old brother Leyden Taylor. 

Two weeks after her final chemo treatment, 6-year-old Lauren Taylor sat on a gold throne to watch a parade congratulate her for beating cancer. 

The DeArmanville Elementary School student had stage four Wilms’ tumor, a kind of cancer that attacks the kidneys, for which she underwent surgery and 36 weeks of chemotherapy. She’s down to one kidney, but her mother, Nastashia Talley, said her little girl is healthy and happy. 

“Lauren is just full of energy and full of love and she always smiles with her big old dimples,” Talley said by phone Friday, in advance of the parade. 

Saturday afternoon, Taylor was elated to be surrounded by family at LaGarde Park as she watched the approach of honking cars led by trucks from the Anniston Fire and Police departments. More than 20 vehicles drove by Taylor’s “throne room” — a big, room-shaped frame draped in white fabric — where she, Talley and Taylor’s 3-year-old brother Layden watched the parade. Vehicles had signs proclaiming they were “#laurenstrong” and taunting “Wilms what?” and several drivers offered cards and gifts to the watching little girl. 

Talley said the parade was arranged as a no-contact congratulations, given the risk of COVID-19 to people with conditions like Taylor’s.

Asked if she thought the parade was fun, Taylor shyly grinned from behind a mask before bouncing and nodding on her throne. 

Talley said faith brought her family through the cancer crisis. 

“When you have faith in God and Jesus Christ, you can do anything,” Talley said. “You just need to give it to the Lord.”