MEET THE BOARD
The sTAY Strong Foundation's board is comprised of volunteers in our community that were all personally touched by Tay's life. They donate their time and talents and provide stewardship for the Foundation and our charitable activities.
We are Claire and Scott Steeves, Taylor's parents. Taylor was the light of our lives. Taylor believed in himself and worked extremely hard to achieve his dreams while at the same time being his brilliant, entertaining and loyal-as-a-lion self. "Never let them see you sweat," he would say. This Adenocarcinoma Stage IV Lung Cancer diagnosis at age 29 was unfathomable; he passed just 376 days from diagnosis. He lived the last year of his life the way he lived his entire life, with bravery, dignity and purpose, to the best of his ability and with so much love for his extremely close friends and family. This mutation does not discriminate. It is through the work of this foundation that we hope to keep Taylor's legacy alive and get the word out to educate everyone about the causes of this form of cancer, as well as early detection.
Julia Cyr is co-chair for the sTAY Strong Foundation. She is a real estate agent in Portland, ME immersed in the southern Maine soccer community and a chihuahua lover. I came to sTay strong having known Taylor since farm league baseball when I was striking out all the boys—including him. Taylor’s life was so inspirational and his fight to the end even more. Working to help people like Taylor who are diagnosed with this form of cancer is something I want to do so Taylor’s memory is carried on forever. Every time an ice cold shot of tequila hits my lips, I will think of you Tay. Cheers.
Donald Thibodeau is co-chair for the sTAY Strong Foundation. He graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Business Administration Major with a Minor in Accounting. Currently I work for Tyler Technologies as a Senior Support Specialist.
When asked to join the sTAY Strong Foundation Board it was a no-brainer. To be able to promote all that Taylor loved, with the people he loved is a great honor. There is no doubt that my life is better from having Taylor in it and I can only hope that I can pay forward his kindness to those who need it.
Brittany Cyr is the secretary and head of the education committee for the sTAY Strong foundation. She grew up with Taylor and always admired his great wisdom and compassion for others. He had an incredible ability to connect with anyone he met. Brittany is a registered respiratory therapist at Maine Medical Center. She began school in 2014 and shortly after, Tay joined her in this path to become a respiratory therapist. Although he was diagnosed shortly after being hired at MMC and only worked for a short time, he made an incredible impact on everyone he met. Brittany is inspired every day at work and in life by the person that Tay was and hopes that she is making him proud. sTAY Strong!
Ashley Ellis is the treasurer for the sTAY Strong Founation. It's strange what makes you remember people after they've gone. For Taylor, it's dancing so hard that I need a towel to wipe the sweat, it's quoting movies, it's reading Harry Potter and remembering that he called in sick to work one day because he was too busy reading Half Blood Prince, it's always finding a way to make tense situations release in a burst of laughter. Everyone has little things that effect the people around them in ways they can never comprehend. I want to be able to pass on Tay's legacy and I want to help others to be able to have a legacy of their own to pass on. It's important to use the time we have. I may have plenty, I may have few. The truth is, no one knows. I want my children to live in a world filled with Taylors, and sTAY strong gives me the opportunity to make that a reality.
Casey Wassick is a co-chairman of the sTAY Strong Foundation. He is a born and raised Mainer who loves sports, as well as the outdoors. His great friend, Taylor Steeves, fueled his passion for the outdoors and fishing. Taylor shaped Casey’s life in many ways. He preached compassion, respect, and love. Since Taylor’s passing, Casey has tried to live how Taylor would live. Enjoy every moment, tell the stories, make the memories, and get outside! Casey looks forward to being able to help people and families that have been affected by cancer.
Nikki Taiani has lived the majority of her life in Maine and has developed a great love for her home state. While most knew Tay through the love of the outdoors, their relationship started at 9 years old on the stage. Taylor was a dance parter, a friend and an inspiration for over two decades of her life and continues to influence her on a daily basis. He brought so much light, love and laughter into this world and she hopes to continue that through her work with sTaystrong. Her goal is to educate, raise awareness, and bring a little bit of comfort to those in need. She thanks you so much for taking the time to read and learn about Taylor - your support means everything.--
Mary Wassick is a founding member of the sTAY Strong Board of Directors. She had the distinct honor of working with Taylor at Point Sebago Resort and even got to share the stage with him one summer in a production of Crazy For You. Her son Casey, daughter Shelbi and their partners Brittney Cyr and Sean McCarthy were a huge part of Taylor's life and his loss has had a profound effect on all of them. Cancer has been no stranger to Mary's life effecting her sister, multiple friends, and as of late an 11 year old student and family friend. Mary's hope is to bring light to and shatter the misconception that lung cancer is the cancer you bring on yourself!! "Too many young men and women are suffering and dying from this form of cancer and it's time we dispel the myths around it! While we wait for a cure the sTAY Strong Foundation will support constantly strive to help those afflicted by ALK in Taylor's name.
Jessica Thibodeau is on both the marketing and event planning committees for The sTAY Strong Foundation. Some of Jessica’s favorite memories of Taylor are of the random conversations they would have. Whether it be about life goals or just a lengthy conversation comprised only of witty puns. Taylor’s passing had a huge impact on Jessica. It made her reevaluate how she wanted to spend her time and utilize her talents. She is now the Creative Design Specialist for Camp Sunshine, a non-profit in Casco, Maine. Jessica is excited for help the sTAY Strong Foundation will be able to provide.
Shelbi Wassick grew up in the Lakes Region of Maine and now lives in Portland. She works as the online editor at Maine magazine. As is with most relationships in her life, she met Taylor while working as a camp counselor at Point Sebago Resort. Some years after their time in 6-9 camp, Shelbi was blessed to come to know Taylor on a much deeper level. Taylor sparked in her a new and reinvigorated love and respect for Maine's great outdoors, he instilled in her an undying love for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and showed her loyalty and kindness of a true friend. It is her sincere hope that the sTAY Strong Foundation will honor his name and legacy and support others that struggle with this underfunded and misunderstood disease.
Sean McCarthy is 12th generation Mainer, outdoor enthusiast, and a founding member of the band Ghost of Paul Revere. He met Taylor when they were in 7th grade and spent the next 18 years as either classmates, coworkers, or roommates but were always close friends. Taylor was and will remain an inspiration for Sean, who will try to emulate his courage, drive, intelligence, and humor for the rest of his days. Sean hopes to bring that same light and determination to others in need with the help of the sTAY Strong Foundation. He will never stop hunting for that good juju.