Rebecca & Christyn Taylor
Rebecca Taylor is a Brown Scholar at Texas A&M University studying biomedical engineering. Upon graduation, she intends to pursue a graduate chemistry degree at Harvard University and then fulfill her scholarship by attending Texas A&M’s Engineering 2 Medicine (EnMed) medical school program.
At the age of seven, Rebecca was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, a painful, debilitating disease with no known cure. The next five years of her life were filled with traveling from state to state visiting countless doctors. After enduring multiple unsuccessful surgical procedures to try to save her pancreas, she moved across the country to have a life-saving experimental transplant that removed her pancreas along with four other organs. Although the transplant was successful, Rebecca’s underlying autoimmune disease continues to attack her system which caused the loss of two more organs in 2021.
As a result of her medical challenges, Make-A-Wish offered Rebecca a wish to go anywhere, meet anyone, or see anything. With the support of her family, she asked to start a 501(c)3 nonprofit called “Rebecca’s Wish” designed to support children with pediatric pancreatitis. With Rebecca as the Founder and her mother, Christyn, as the President, the nonprofit has raised over $3,000,000 to date and has started programs to support countless children across the United States. Rebecca continues to live in and out of the hospital with her disease, but her focus never sways from helping medically fragile children in need. Rebecca’s future includes plans to become a research scientist and find a cure for pancreatitis as she continues her work with Rebecca’s Wish.
In 2010, Christyn Taylor’s life took a drastic turn when her then seven-year-old daughter, Rebecca, was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. Christyn immediately immersed into the world of pancreatitis as her daughter subsequently endured over 1,400 hospitalized days and 150 surgical procedures that also involved the removal of seven organs, including a Total Pancreatectomy and an Auto-Islet cell transplant. Through this process, Christyn realized the immense lack of knowledge and specialized care in the world of pediatric pancreatitis.
In 2016, Rebecca was approached by Make-a-Wish as to what her wish request would be. Her answer was not at all surprising to those who knew her: “I want to meet with a medical philanthropist, who can help me start a charity to help kids like me, so they don’t have to suffer like I did.” In 2017, “Rebecca’s Wish” was founded with the goals of innovative research, fellowships for physicians, education and charitable services for children with pancreatitis. Christyn is the President of Rebecca’s Wish. Since its inception, Rebecca’s Wish has raised millions of dollars and helped countless children in multiple countries through its life-changing cause.
Christyn is on the Executive Board of Directors for the National Pancreas Foundation and has participated for several years on the Friend’s Board of the Ronald McDonald House. Christyn is a medical advisor and advocate and speaks on behalf of numerous organizations, hospitals and medical schools. In her spare time, she authors medical research papers, curricula and books. Christyn is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M University with honors. She resides in San Antonio with her husband and three children.