When Passion Trumps Adversity: Taylor Kaczmarek's Rise to the Big Leagues

When Passion Trumps Adversity: Taylor Kaczmarek's Rise to the Big Leagues

In addition to our hole sponsorship at the Classy Golf Classic, on 10/14/16, Chinook will be donating $1 for every bag of seeds purchased online to support the Cancer for College Foundation.

cancer for college fundraiser

Here's a little background into Taylor Kaczmarek's story, the guy behind our inspiration to get involved with Cancer for College.


Taylor Kaczmarek’s love of baseball began when he started playing t-ball at the age of 5. Since then, Taylor has pursued his dream of playing professional baseball, undaunted by adversities he’s had to face.

Following a successful high school career in which he was named Arizona’s Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year, Taylor went on to pitch at the collegiate level for the University of San Diego. His college career was off to a great start, but in his sophomore year, he started feeling sick.   

A week before the 2012 Major League Baseball draft in which he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals, Taylor was diagnosed with Leukemia. Though Taylor faced a life-changing diagnosis that could potentially derail his athletic and academic career, Taylor approached his situation with positivity and grit. Refusing to surrender his ambition, Taylor underwent chemotherapy treatment and made countless visits to hospitals over the next three years.

After years of challenging treatment, Taylor’s cancer went into remission. He trained relentlessly to get back on the mound and rejoin his teammates at USD. Having missed months of school to enter treatment, Taylor needed to complete four summer school classes in order to remain eligible for the 2015-2016 season. The cost of tuition was a major setback.

taylor kaczmereck - cancer for college

Fortunately, Taylor was introduced to the Cancer for College Foundation. Cancer for College is a non-profit organization which provides college scholarships to cancer survivors from all over the United States. The charity was founded in 1993 by two-time cancer survivor and double amputee, Craig Pollard.

Taylor was awarded a scholarship for his final year at the University of San Diego. The scholarship allowed Taylor to earn his college degree and resume his pursuit of becoming a professional baseball player.

Taylor now supports the foundation that provided him with so much opportunity. On October 14th, Taylor will attend the Cancer for College Classy Golf Classic, an event that raises money to provide scholarships like the one he received.







“They helped me get through school and now it’s my turn to give back…and it’s fun!” says Taylor Kaczmarek on his continued involvement with Cancer for College.

Chinook Seedery was introduced to Taylor by his USD teammate and Chinook brand ambassador – Spencer Dunlap. Taylor’s story inspired the Chinook team and we’re proud to support both Taylor and Cancer for College as a sponsor of the 2016 Cancer For College Classy Golf Classic.

Today, Taylor continues to live his dream as a pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization. As for life after baseball, Taylor hopes to one day open his own business – perhaps pursuing another one of his passions in life: brewing craft beer.

To help support Cancer for College,  visit www.chinookseedery.com on Friday, October 14th. For every bag sold at our online store, Chinook will donate $1 to Cancer for College .

For more information on the Cancer for College Classy Golf Classic, visit http://www.cancerforcollege.org/golf-classic.html

Back to blog

Leave a comment