Taylor and Joe Kirkwood moved into their first home in Beaudesert on 8 December, the day the town was smashed with flash flooding.
Amid the chaos, the first home buyers were just happy to be in their own place close enough to the PA Hospital for Taylor’s cancer treatment, but far enough from the big smoke to enjoy being part of a small community and exploring their own backyard.
Their world was forever changed on 14 December 2019 when Taylor, then aged 27, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.
When emergency surgery and chemotherapy failed to slow the rapidly spreading cancer, Taylor said no to palliative care and yes to a clinical immunotherapy trial at the PA.
The couple uprooted their lives in Central Queensland, where they were both established with good jobs, and shifted to Brisbane to focus entirely on Taylor’s treatment.
In a sign of the couple’s fighting spirit and the hope they placed in the success of the trial, they eloped in 2020 and were able to renew their vows in a beautiful ceremony this year.
Now, 15 months into the two-year trial which saved Taylor’s life, the cancer has regressed by more than 65 per cent and her quality of life is returning.
Joe is enjoying a new job at the Scenic Rim Regional Council, and they are excited about living in a growing tourism region, particularly because they were both avid travellers before Taylor’s cancer diagnosis and the global pandemic happened all at once.
As they prepare for their first Beaudesert Christmas in their 70s brick home with Scooter, their 16-year-old Shih Tzu cross, and Arti, their 6-year-old ginger tabby cat, they are looking to the future with optimism.
Grateful for the hope PA’s life-saving cancer research has given her for the future, Taylor is now giving back by telling her story through the PA Research Foundation Christmas Appeal.
To support cancer research like the trial that saved Taylor’s life, visit www.pafoundation.org.au/taylor.