Jake has always been a comic book guy. He worked for Dark Horse Comics in college, and has just never really let the passion die. Years later, a firefighter with a family of his own, Jake found out that Denver had its very own comic convention. He decided to go, but he made it a family affair by bringing his kids, including his youngest daughter, Taylor.
“She was 4 years old and she loved it. We dressed her like Supergirl,” said Jake. “She was just blown away by the spectacle of it all.”
Soon, Taylor was a full-fledged comic lover just like her dad. Owly, Spider-Man, Tiny Titans—she loved them all. But her favorite heroes were Batgirl, Supergirl and Thor. Denver Comic Con quickly became an annual event for Jake and his family. And 2016 was a year like any other—they had purchased their tickets and were getting excited for June. Then, out of nowhere, Taylor got sick.
“On June 13, Taylor was diagnosed with leukemia,” Jake said. “She had to be hospitalized for two weeks.”
While in the hospital, Taylor realized something. She wouldn’t be able to go to Denver Comic Con.
Heartbroken for his daughter, Jake mentioned Taylor’s crushing realization on Facebook. And that’s when the geek community came to the rescue. Immediately, friends started to share Taylor’s story to try to figure out a way to bring Denver Comic Con to her, even creating the hashtag #SendTaylorHeroes to get the word out far and wide. Soon, they had recruited two cosplayers to come and visit Taylor in the hospital.
On Saturday afternoon when Thor—her favorite super hero—walked into the room, Taylor was stunned. He was larger than life, fully decked out in a flowing red cape, with a massive hammer and huge smile. The two hit it off right away. They talked about the “Ironman technology” she was wearing and he even wrote a note in her secret journal using her invisible ink pen that has an attached black light to read the messages with.
Then as he began to leave, Thor handed her his hammer.
“Taylor, this is Mjolnir,” he said. “Only the worthy can lift it. Because you are mighty and because you are brave, I wish for you to have it.”
Taylor was amazed. And her family was over the moon with gratitude.
Later that day, Taylor had another surprise visitor—Ms. Marvel. Before long, the two were discussing costume design, colors, superpowers and how cool it would be to fly. Taylor decided that not only did she need wings, but ice powers and the ability to make rainbows. Before leaving, Ms. Marvel had Taylor get up and show off some fighting poses with her—then she offered her the handmade mask she was wearing for Taylor to fight crime with.
“While Thor and Ms. Marvel were in her room, Taylor did not hurt. She did not feel sick or tired.” Jake said. “The geek community stepped up and had our back. The fact that there are selfless people out there, folks who will go out of their way to help someone they don’t even know, it’s truly inspirational.”
Gamers Giving is hosting a 24-hour gaming marathon on October 8-9, 2016 at Total Escape Games in Broomfield, CO to benefit the Burgess family while their daughter Taylor (age 7) fights leukemia. If you are interested in playing, you can pre-register for your seats at www.warhorn.net/events/thanksgaming-2016
If you don’t want to participate in the gaming marathon, you may also donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/thanksgaming-for-the-mighty-taylor-vs-cancer/fundraiser/gamersgivinginc