Taylor’s Hope: Making a Difference by Design



Photo by Michael Burns

Woodbine press release

Eye-catching orange and white racing silks that feature a ribbon and her initials are more than a fashion statement for 18-year-old Taylor Logan.

Typically, jockeys who ride Elliott Logan’s horses wear the Kentucky stable’s blue and white silks, the colors accompanied by a cursive L, horseshoe, and TEC Racing emblazoned across the front.

For November, including their Woodbine entries, that look is noticeably different.

“I really like them,” Taylor said of the silks she designed with her dad. “I had thought for a while that doing something like this would be cool, but we never really had time to do it. Then one day I sat down with my dad and we thought, ‘Let’s do it. We might like it, maybe not, but give it a try. We both ended up really liking it.

A feeling shared by his father.

“Taylor had a lot of input into the design. We’re very happy with how they turned out.

The story behind the silks, featuring an orange ribbon and the letters TAL, first came to light more than two years ago following a serious medical diagnosis for the teenager.

Nearly three years ago, Taylor was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a term that describes excessive and prolonged pain and inflammation that occurs after an arm or leg injury.

“On an average day, my pain level is about seven out of 10. And that’s a good day. A good day is when I can wear whatever I want – I have a lot of pain. hypersensitivity because of that – but there are certain days when I can’t wear certain shoes, certain socks or certain pants. The good days are when I can wear whatever I want and go out and be with my friends, and I can go to school Bad days are a pain level of 10 out of 10 I won’t be able to lie under a blanket, I won’t be able to tolerate anything touching me, spending most of my teary days trying to find something to ease me a little We have a few little things that can help a little but on the worst days there is nothing in our power we can do but just let TO DO.”

She can easily remember the date and the moment that would change her life in ways she never imagined.

Initially thought to be a sprained ankle, it turned into something much more serious less than two weeks later.

“In March 2020, March 2, I was a gymnast and I ended up hurting myself one day. Less than 72 hours later, I ended up having these crazy symptoms that weren’t associated with a sprain ankle. On March 13 I was diagnosed with CRPS. We had never heard of it before and didn’t know anyone who had it. So it was a time of confusion and worry…we had a tag, but we didn’t know what that tag meant, we didn’t know what it would look like in the future.

People with CRPS, which comes in both acute and chronic forms, experience changing combinations of spontaneous pain or much higher than normal excessive pain after something as slight as a touch. Other symptoms include changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the arm or leg below the site of injury.

Most CRPS diseases are caused by malfunction of peripheral C-fiber nerve fibers that transmit pain messages to the brain. Excessive shooting also triggers inflammation designed to promote healing and rest after injury.

Although CRPS improves over time, eventually going away for the most part, the rare severe or prolonged cases can be long-lasting.

“Luckily I was lucky enough to have a physiotherapist who knew a lot about it. We didn’t have to teach someone what it was and then get treatment for it.

Many of us were doing research, the physical therapist doing research, and our doctors doing research. I was lucky to have an early diagnosis. Some people go months or even years without knowing what was wrong. It was pretty clear to me that I was going to have a long road ahead of me to get back to where I once was.

“Some people don’t have pain anymore, some don’t. It’s such a unique thing because every case is different, very few people have it, and there are very few items out there, and the vast majority are not from someone who has it.

That’s what prompted the high school student to share her own story, which wasn’t easy to do.

Initially reluctant to speak publicly about her battle with the CRPS, knowing it might help motivate others to speak out about her struggles.

“I think being able to do it, having the courage to share my story, and knowing it might help someone else, that’s what helps me. At the same time, having that hope that there will be a cure or something that can make a big difference.

Her support group is wide and varied, extending far beyond those she is closest with to the people she has met during her CRPS journey.

Over time, Taylor adopted the team effort approach to dealing with her affliction.

“From the start, my parents were there for me and supported me. My whole family, my cousins, my grandparents and many others have been there for me too. I have met a lot of friends thanks to this, just through different hospitals and treatments, people who are going through the same thing as me, which has been very helpful. It makes me realize that I am not the only one. Although I receive such great support, it I am going through this ordeal and there are times when you feel very alone.

That’s when she thinks of horses.

Often on tough days, or even when she wants to make a good day better, Taylor and her dad will go to where their horses are stabled, a chance to just be in the moment, unhindered by the burdens that accompany the CRPS.

“I think it’s been a good escape, being able to get out and see the horses. It’s a good diversion. In the middle of it all, I got my racing license and my dad and I started a racing team, T&E Racing. Right now we are raising the babies, excited to see them running one day. It’s been a huge thing for me, a great escape and a fun thing to do with my dad.

She looks forward to the day, a good one no doubt, when she can stand at the edge of the runway and see the orange and white silks, the ones wearing a ribbon with her initials above.

On Nov. 9 at Woodbine, Kazushi Kimura, the Toronto Oval’s top rider, carried them aboard Graceful Fighter, a 2-year-old bay gelding Elliott named after his daughter.

“She fights with so much dignity and grace and poise, so that’s where the name comes from,” said Elliott, whose top horses to date include Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint third-placed Shekky Shabaz. 2019, Millennium Force, Sandy Bay, Souper Watson and Wentru. “That’s how she fights her fight. It’s also CRPS Awareness Month, so it’s great to have this horse running in November.

Chances are, only a few people other than Taylor and her family knew the meaning of those silks in this afternoon card from Woodbine.

Taylor’s hope is that maybe more after reading her story.

“I’ve seen the silks on video, but not in person at races. Hopefully soon we can get to a race and see them in person. It meant a lot to me, knowing it was more important to me than most people would think when I saw them in the paddock or on the circuit. In fact, I ended up doing some of my senior photos in the silks.

A photo that his father proudly shared on Twitter.

“If you talk to her, if you see her go by, you’ll never know something’s bothering her,” Elliott offered. “She always has a beautiful smile on her face. She’s a happy girl, even with everything she’s been through and is going through. She laughs, she smiles. There have been times recently where things have gone wrong. shot for her, and it put her in a wheelchair for months. In all that time, she never once complained. She’s got that smile on her face.

A look Taylor intends to keep throughout his battle against CRPS and beyond.

“I hope I can be pain free one day. It’s not an easy road, but knowing that other beautiful days will come makes me smile.

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