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LAPD helps a family of one of their own

September 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Firefighters and police put their lives at risk on the job every day. Now, the LAPD is rallying around the family of one of its own. Officer Scott Taylor's family is struggling with not one, but two life-threatening illnesses. His wife has a disease that is so painful, that its number one cause of death is suicide.

LAPD Officer Scott Taylor patrols some of Los Angeles's toughest streets.

Work is stressful enough, but it's Scott's home life that has him really worried.

Scott's wife, Jill, and son Micah, are both extremely sick.

"We've struggled for so many years, trying to find something," says Jill. "I don't want to be the one that people are trying to help. I want to be the one helping."

Jill has a rare and somewhat mysterious disease called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, also known as RSD. It is a chronic, progressive nerve disorder marked by constant and extreme pain.

"It's like sandpaper rubbing on my bone," says Jill.

Dr. Wesley Kobayashi takes care of Jill and says that her case is the worst he's ever seen.

"It is severely painful," describes Dr. Kobayashi. "It's severe enough where people have requested amputations of their extremities because the pain is so severe."

"There's days when you do want to give up but, I can't," says Jill.

She can't because of her two children, McKenzie and Micah.

17-month-old Micah has been in and out of hospitals since he was born.

He has epilepsy, severe migraines, and acid-reflux. The Taylors fear he may also have Jill's debilitating nerve disease, RSD.

"Seeing him turn blue and not breathing is the scariest thing I've ever seen," says Scott. "I can't picture it, or I'm going to start crying."

The medical bills are overwhelming. Because Jill's disorder is so rare, much of her treatment is considered experimental. It is not covered by insurance.

The Taylors are now $60,000 in debt and close to losing their home.

That's where the LAPD is stepping in to help. When officers at the LAPD south-east division found out, they rallied around the family to help.

The LAPD threw a barbeque fundraiser last month for Scott and his family.

"Just the support that they've given my husband at work and the understanding- it really means a lot because, there's times when we didn't think my son was going to make it," says Jill.

The LAPD is throwing their big fundraiser Wednesday night, September 2nd at the New Conga Room at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, and the public is invited.

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