Home » Unique Program at TCH Helps Ill Children and their Siblings
October 26, 2007 – ABC Channel 13
by Laura Whitney
A first listen to the premiere single from young Taylor Phillips, her soulful voice suggests the eight-year-old may be on road to becoming a pint sized singing sensation. But a search for stardom doesn’t lead her to Purple Songs recording studio. This journey is about healing.
“I’d like to dedicate this song to my sister, Brooke,” she said. “It’s called ‘Dancing and Singing’ and we used to dance and sing all the time.”
After a courageous battle with leukemia, Taylor’s little sister, Brooke, died last year. Brooke received chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at Texas Children’s Hospital. Taylor comforted her sister until the last day.
“During the hospital stays with Brooke, she would sing Brooke through getting a shot,” said Jessica Phillips, Taylor’s mother.
During the year since the five-year-old’s death, Taylor faced the adult task of mourning the loss of her sister.
“In the stillness of the night whenever we’re laying down with her is when really the emotion comes,” said Taylor’s father, Chaney Phillips.
“Sometimes, I’m really sad,” said Taylor.
So the second grader returned to the hospital she visited so many times with her sister to make sense of some of that grief. Led by professional songwriter Anita Kruse, Taylor recalled her favorite memories of Brooke.
Kruse, who founded the ‘Purple Songs Can Fly Project,’ helped Taylor transform those memories into lyrics. In just over an hour, Taylor bravely recorded the tribute.
In a studio mostly filled with adults, the eight-year-old was the person who kept a dry eye.
“I’m thinking about Brooke and all of the happy feelings we had when I’m singing this song,” she said.
And how her baby sister will forever be by her side.
Since the program began, patients at Texas Children’s and their siblings have recorded more than 50 original songs.
Pictured: Purple Songs Can Fly helped Taylor, 8, transform memories of her sister into lyrics
[+] Watch a videosegment of Taylor singing on Channel 13 News