Casey Cares helps Taylor meet her favorite dolphin

| July 15, 2019

Six-year-old Laci Taylor was able to meet Winter the dolphin from her favorite movie “Dolphin Tale.” The visit was made possible by an organization called Casey Cares. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Six-year-old Laci Taylor loves the movie “Dolphin Tale.”

“You can tell her a scene and she can tell you the next three scenes after that,” said Alicia Taylor, Laci’s mom.

The movie helps Laci get through her breathing treatments for cystic fibrosis, which are twice a day for an hour each time. This summer she got to meet Winter the dolphin who stars in the movie thanks to Casey Cares.

“Her (Laci’s) social worker at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is amazing,” Alicia said. “She gave me a list of different organizations and we’ve been with Casey Cares for two years or so now. They’ve sent us a whole lot of different places. They do stuff throughout the year. It could be AMC movie tickets, pizza and a Redbox or we’ve even gone to Disney on Ice.”

Alicia reached out to Casey Cares and told them the family would be in Florida and asked them to let her know if they had extras for activities in the area.

“Her dad (Matt) was down there working as a subcontractor helping with Hurricane Michael cleanup,” Alicia said. “The whole 15 hour trip down all she did was talk about Winter because she knew she was in Florida.”

It wasn’t in the family’s budget to visit Winter, but Casey Cares came through for them. With the organization’s help, the family was able to visit Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is Florida’s marine life rescue center, and where “Dolphin Tale” was made.

“We were able to do the full visit with a boat ride, souvenir photos and all kinds of stuff,” Alicia said.

Seeing Winter was Laci’s favorite part of the trip, but she also enjoyed the boat ride.

“They are the only people allowed to have closed nets in Florida and that day they pulled up 90 different species,” Alicia said.

Laci and her siblings were surprised by the trip and even blindfolded on the car ride to the aquarium.

“I was happy when I saw where we were at,” Laci said.

She came home with her own stuffed dolphin that came in its own official rescue stretcher.

“It sits with me at lunch and dinner,” Laci said.

She and her mom both agreed that the people at Casey Cares are the best.

“They make it a lot easier to forget for a little bit,” Alicia said.

Casey Cares supports critically ill children and their families in eight states and Washington, D.C.

“Our motto is little moments and lasting memories, and this exciting day will most certainly be a lasting memory not only for little Laci, but her family too,” said Casey Baynes, founder and executive director of Casey Cares. “We love providing these moments for our kiddos. They spend so much time in hospitals and with doctors that these times mean even more to our families. The surprise factor of this event for Laci was so exciting. The idea that she spends so much time with Winter on a video screen during treatment makes it that much more special.”

Alicia encourages parents of critically ill children to not be afraid to reach out to organizations like Casey Cares.

“Reach out to any help that is out there,” she said. “Without some of the support people we have for her we would not be where we are now.”

For more information on Casey Cares, visit

If Laci could tell the people at Casey Cares anything, it would definitely be, “thank you.”

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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