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Hero Central: Mom Shares Donut Legacy

4:46 AM, Feb 8, 2010   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- In her quiet way, every Sunday, Melissa Brooks makes a special delivery to the Aflac Cancer Center.

"All right, I've got the donuts for you," Melissa said as she dropped off two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts at the nurses station. She then put two more boxes in the family room.

Melissa started making these weekly visits almost two years ago after losing her daughter to a rare childhood cancer, desmoplastic small round cell tumor.

Taylor Brooks was 14 years old.

"I feel like this is what Taylor expects us to do," Melissa said. 

That's because Taylor started it.  She did the same thing every week after outpatient chemotherapy sessions.

"When she was done, she would walk back over here and bring cupcakes or cookies, any kind of snack, just to let the patients know that somebody was thinking of them," Melissa said. 

At Christmas, she organized a special holiday party with a huge stack of presents for patients.

"Today there are 17 kids in here getting chemo," Melissa said. 

Spending time in the Aflac Cancer Center can be tough for Melissa.

She tries to avoid the room where Taylor stayed during her last intensive in-patient chemotherapy treatment.

But she insists on returning week after week.

"It's a great feeling that she still remembers us and still believes in the Aflac Cancer Center and that Taylor Brooks can live on in the donut legacy," said Amy Perkins, one of the nurses who cared for Taylor. 

The donut delivery for nurses, patients and families is now part of the mission of the Taylor Brooks Foundation, which raises money for patient parties, holiday gift baskets and cancer research.

"Cancer doesn't take a weekend off," Melissa said. "Cancer doesn't take a holiday off, so we thought what better time to do this than on a Sunday morning."

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