“Your brother has leukemia.” These are words no parent ever wants to say to their daughter and no words a sister ever wants to hear. Samantha Taus Talbot has lived that nightmare, twice. Her story about Joshua is here:
“On August 23rd, 2001, my life changed forever when my youngest brother, Joshua Joseph Taus Talbot, was born into this world. With handsome blonde hair and blue eyes, Joshua was the cutest baby you could ever imagine. He had the sweetest smile and exuded love. Soon after he was born, we found out that Joshua had Down syndrome, but we didn’t even care. Every time I held him, I just felt so happy and lucky to be his big sister. It was a feeling of pure love and joy- one that would last a lifetime.
Joshua brought immeasurable joy into our hearts and souls. Full of life and laughter, Joshua enjoyed playing baseball, watching his favorite T.V. shows and movies, making others laugh, learning, hitting on “smoking hot ladies,” and, most of all, being a part of a team. Joshua loved his family so much. Born into a big family of twelve cousins, Joshua loved hanging out with his family. He gave us all the best hugs, kisses, and love. Joshua made us dance, laugh, and, most importantly, have fun.
Through the years, Joshua taught me how to be a better person. He taught me how to love unconditionally, how to be the best buddy to everyone, how to laugh until your stomach hurt, and how to enjoy life. Joshua was my very best friend, and even though I was his big sister, I always felt like he was the one teaching me.
In January of 2004, Joshua was diagnosed with AML leukemia. Joshua finished treatment on July 9th of that year and kicked cancer’s butt! After this, we enjoyed many healthy years. On July 14th, 2010, Joshua was diagnosed with a completely different type of leukemia, ALL leukemia. Our family began a long, three-and-a-half year treatment program to combat the leukemia. Even though the treatment was very intense and Joshua must have felt very sick, he never showed it. He persevered and made the journey easier for all of us. In January of this past year, Joshua was re-diagnosed with relapsed ALL leukemia. In March, we knew that Joshua would need a bone marrow transplant to give him his best chance at surviving. Everyone in our immediate family volunteered to give their bone marrow. We found out that I was a perfect match for Joshua. In June, Joshua and I became “twinsies” when I gave him my bone marrow. The bone marrow engrafted, and Joshua was cancer free. Unfortunately, Joshua’s lungs took a hit from all of the chemo and radiation. Joshua passed on September 8, 2015, surrounded by his loved ones and family.
Every day, I miss Joshua terribly; however, I know just how lucky I was to have him in my life. I now cherish the memories that Joshua gave me, and I try my very best to honor Joshua by doing good things for others- something that he taught many others and myself to do. Joshua was an amazing brother, son, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend. He will forever be loved, remembered, and cherished by all of those who loved and continue to love him.”