The Mia Taylor Foundation evolved from Mia's sudden tragic passing at the age of 20. Mia made a difference during her time on earth, but she was far from being finished. There was so much more she wanted to accomplish. We will proudly continue the journey Mia started, forever remembering the lasting impact she made in the lives of those she touched and those who will now go forward to make a difference in Mia’s name through the strength of the foundation.
Mia was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She attended Oakdale Elementary School and completed junior high school at Christ the King School. Mia attended Skutt Catholic High School, but later transferred to Westside High School so she could join Westside’s medical club. Mia graduated from Westside in 2019. When considering which college to attend, Mia chose to remain in Nebraska where she elected to pursue her education in medicine and pursue her dream of becoming a pediatrician. She enrolled at College of Saint Mary (CSM), a private university in Omaha, Nebraska, as a pre-med student. Mia’s passion for nature and the environment also attracted her to College of Saint Mary. She was intrigued by the environmental sustainability program they offered, which Mia chose as her minor.
When Mia was 5, she and her father enjoyed brightening the holiday season (most holidays) for a local senior, in need, by delivering a heartfelt gift and/or meal to them. After the first holiday season, Mia was hooked and it became a yearly holiday tradition that Mia and her father shared together and included several seniors who were either living all alone, experiencing financial limitations, or both.
When Mia was 6, she and her father began an effort to provide books to disadvantaged or impoverished children who had few or no books in their homes. Mia was exposed to reading at an early age and had a strong passion for reading and a profound love for books. She and her father would spend hours reading and going to bookstores. After returning from visiting a classmate's home, Mia was sad to learn that her friend, from Mexico, did not have any books. She began gathering some of her books at home and asked her father if she could give them to her friend from school. This was the beginning of what started as another opportunity in which Mia wanted to give back to those in need. Mia and her father began purchasing inexpensive books or would gather donated books and distribute them to children in need across the local community.
When Mia was 14, and a student at Christ the King School, she was required to perform 25 hours of volunteer service. Her father recalled sitting down with Mia and reviewing volunteer opportunities. When they came to the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI), Mia knew immediately this was the volunteer opportunity, which she wanted to serve. Not only did she perform her required 25 hours of volunteer service, but five years later, at the time of Mia’s passing, she was still an active volunteer at MMI.
While in college, Mia continued volunteering at MMI. She also volunteered at Methodist Hospital on Friday evenings. In addition, Mia volunteered at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) where she assisted with cancer patients. This led to Mia’s initial employment position in the medical field, where she worked as a scribe in UNMC’s trauma unit.
Mia’s passion for a healthy lifestyle led to her attending seminars hosted by physicians and scholars from around the world. In 2019, after attending a plant-based convention in San Diego, Mia wrote an article about her healthy lifestyle and plant-based diet, which was subsequently published in a disease prevention and healthy living magazine. The original article is proudly displayed in Mia’s father’s office.
While attending College of Saint Mary, Mia was selected during her freshman year to travel to NASA to study efforts that NASA is taking to advance environmental sustainability. Upon her return, Dr. Ganesh Naik selected Mia to become president of CSM’s “Green Team.” This prestigious honor had only previously been held by students who were seniors.
Mia always displayed passion and confidence in anything she wanted to achieve. She enjoyed playing soccer, swimming, and gymnastics. In December 2010, Mia suffered a severe neck injury stemming from a gymnastics accident. The long recovery, medication-related issues, and damage to her neck, ended Mia’s competitive sports career at an early age. It was during this time that Mia was treated and cared for by numerous healthcare professionals on her road to recovery. The exposure to these caring and exceptional physicians was instrumental in guiding Mia’s decision to a career in medicine.
Mia also had a passion for the environment, nature and traveling. Mia and her father took many trips to national parks, which was where she first developed her love for the environment and nature. Her goal was to visit every US state and every national park with her father before she turned age 30. Mia often spoke about the time she and her father traveled throughout Alaska by train, including a trip to Denali National Park and Preserve, where they went horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
In addition to traveling, Mia loved spending time with family, her pets (Morkie - Princess Coco and Yorkie - Cody). Two weeks prior to her tragic passing, Mia had ordered another Morkie. Despite the tragedy, Mia's father traveled out of state to pick up Mia's new puppy. Mia had a few names in mind, but had not officially selected one, so her father named him MAT (after Mia's initials).
Additionally, Mia loved to read and learn new things. She had several hobbies, which included: health and fitness, art and drawing, photography, scrap booking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and gardening. Mia always looked forward to helping her poppa Gene (Mia's grandfather) plant trees, flowers, and a large garden every year. Mia helped her father and poppa plant numerous flowers, shrubs, and trees over the years. She also loved to cook and bake, especially healthy or vegan foods and desserts from her collection of recipe books. Mia and her father would often then deliver them to senior citizens in the neighborhood – and they loved to see her coming.