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Woman named as 'honorary prom queen' dies

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Jun 10th, 2014 @ 8:05am


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SPANISH FORK — A Spanish Fork woman who was recently crowned as an honorary prom queen passed away Sunday night.

Sydni Taylor turned 22 in February. She was diagnosed with ataxia telangiectasia, a neurodegenerative disease that affects mobility and brain function, when she was 19 months old. Due to her rare and debilitating diagnosis, Sydni was not able to do many of the things that her peers were able to and she stopped going to school after first grade.

However, Sydni was given the opportunity to attend the American Leadership Academy's prom that took place at Maple Mountain High School in April, where she was named an honorary prom queen.

"She thoroughly enjoyed it," said Sydni's mother, Tammy Taylor. "She felt like a princess. Will (the boy who took her to prom) treated her like the queen she was."

Sydni was also diagnosed with stage four cirrhosis in September. Tammy said although A-T disease usually turns fatal, the cirrhosis caused kidney failure, which was what led to Sydni's death Sunday night. Tammy said Sydni was 4-foot-7 and only 60 pounds when she passed away.

"She's in a better place," she said.

Tammy said that Sydni was a remarkable young woman who, despite her pain and difficulties, was always positive and wanted to do things for others.

"Everybody that met her instantly loved her," Tammy said. "She's amazing. She never complained. She would do anything for anybody. It was always, 'Yes, please,' and, 'Thank you.' She would say, 'There is something positive in everyone, Mom.' "

Tammy said the loss was a huge one in her life, but that she will try to help others deal with the death of their children. She said Sydni wanted Tammy to be an advocate for mothers who have to deal with losing their children.

"I dedicated my life to her," she said. "That's what I woke up for. She wanted to see me smile before she went. I'm going to work on that. I am going to do it for her in her behalf. I want to see if I can help somebody."

Sydni's viewing will be held in Spanish Fork on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and her funeral will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both will be held at the LDS Church at 310 East Center Street, and Tammy said both are open to the public.

Tammy said Sydni grew up with a love of motorcycles since her grandfather owned a Harley Davidson and took her on rides. A group of bikers will escort the hearse during a funeral procession to the Delta cemetery.

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