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'Like the warrior she was': Reinhardt University mourns loss of student who inspired team

Alexis Taylor maintained a 3.89 GPA and remained a member of the university's lacrosse team, despite her diagnosis and battle against a rare form of cancer.
Credit: Reinhardt University
Alexis Taylor

WALESKA, Ga. — She was a scholar and a lacrosse player at Reinhardt University, but the title she held for so many there might be "inspiration."

Alexis Taylor died on Monday just before 6 a.m. after battling a rare form of cancer for more than a year-and-a-half. Despite her personal battle with such an unwavering adversary, Taylor made her mark on many lives at Reinhardt.

In a statement released by the university, officials said she maintained a near-perfect 3.89-grade point average, even during her treatments for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The rare form of cancer starts in the brain stem which controls breathing, heart rate and the nerves and muscles that help us see, hear, walk, talk and eat, according to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Facing this, she not only studied biology but also played on the Reinhardt Women's Lacrosse Team.

“Alexis’ spirit and courage during her fight inspired her team,” said women’s lacrosse head coach Roy Reynolds. “We played and continue to play for #11. Those of us who knew her were blessed. May we all have the courage and dignity she showed.” 

University president Kina Mallard also remembered Alexis for her "bright smile and warrior spirit."

"The Reinhardt Family prays for Alexis’ family as they lean on the Great Comforter who promises to walk with them through this valley of grief," she wrote.

Reinhardt University has also announced plans to offer a "time of remembrance" for Taylor in the weeks to come. The university also shared the tragic news on Monday along with a brief tribute to a fallen member of their student body saying she "fought DIPG ... like the warrior she was."

"Alexis was an inspiration to those who knew her," it concluded.


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