Lake Braddock girls' lacrosse team has followed a simple creed throughout their 2010 season. "We are a family."
OK, so that's the motto for a lot of sports team, but when the Bruins' freshman midfielder Taylor Livick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last June, the team decided to stand with her and fight it.
"Everyone thing we've been talking about this season is that we're a family," team captain Alex Kelly said. "Taylor is a part of this team and I love her to death. Diabetes is a part of her life, so we thought we'd fight it with her."
On May 2, the team lived up to their motto by supporting Livick at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) walk at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.
The walk, which circles Nationals Park twice before heading into the stadium for a victory march over home plate, is designed to raise awareness for childhood diabetes. Participants also raise money for childhood diabetes research.
In June 2009, Taylor was diagnosed with diabetes. Although doctors said only her eating habits and lifestyle would change, she wanted to prove it wouldn't set her back athletically.
"I didn't think I would be able to do any of the sports I do now," she said. "But it’s made me better at sports and I work harder to prove that it couldn't stop me.”
But that doesn't mean she doesn't have to take precautions. Taylor's mother, Andrea Livick, said her daughter has to take insulin shots four times a day, and timing her treatments between practices can be tough.
"It's not as easy as 'Go to practice honey, see you later,’" Andrea Livick said.
After hearing about the JDRF walk at Nationals Park, Taylor Livick decided to get involved and formed "Taylor's Troop,” which at its roots consisted of her family members.
"I wanted to get involved and start making a difference," she said.
When her lacrosse team learned about her illness and the walk, Kelly decided to take action on her own and follow through on the creed that head coach Victor Chen had been promoting.
"From the very on-set of the season, a philosophy I had been trying to instill was to be more of a family off the field," Chen said. "The support for Taylor shows they took it to heart."
The first indication that the family-first mentality had sunk in came in an e-mail from Kelly to Andrea Livick and her teammates. In the e-mail, Kelly asked her teammates to join Taylor Livick's cause and walk with her on May 2.
"The e-mail almost made me cry," Andrea Livick said. "It made me feel like my kid was special."
Every member of the Lake Braddock girls' lacrosse team took part in the walk with the Livicks. The final total for the event reached 70 friends, lacrosse players and relatives.
"Family members support each other on and off the field," co-captain Colleen Garrott said. "Not a single person hesitated to come out here and do this for her."
Attending the walk wasn't the only way the team and Taylor Livick's friends helped her. Andrea Livick said her cousins helped raise money through a lemonade stand and Taylor Livick's friends held a car wash as well.
Andrea Livick said the unofficial amount of money raised neared $3,000 by the time of the walk.
"It's just great to know she has a family that is looking out for her," Andrea Livick said.