Overcoming challenges and embracing adventure; Amazing alumni

Lethbridge couple Julie (Greidanus) Taylor (BA ’05) and Lowell Taylor (BFA ’04) say their alma mater gave them more than just a liberal arts education, it also gave them the critical thinking skills for their next great adventure.

Julie and Lowell Taylor prepare to race around Canada with reality TV program, The Amazing Race.

The adrenaline-seeking duo are on the journey of a lifetime as they compete against nine other teams on CTV’s Amazing Race Canada.

While road blocks and challenges on the reality TV program are enough to push some teams to the edge, Julie and Lowell have an additional level of difficulty added to each situation. Lowell is legally blind and suffers from a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Lowell’s vision is non-existent in low light and has lost his peripheral vision completely which means Julie had to take on the driving and navigation duties throughout the series. A small responsibility which Julie says gives Lowell the chance to see more of Canada’s great outdoors before his sight declines further.

“He is so positive and he doesn’t let his vision get in his way and that is a huge part of our story. We are a team and we conquer things despite his disability,” says Julie.

While Julie and Lowell may have crossed the stage over 10 years ago, the University still plays an active role in their daily lives. The Taylors are members of the Lethbridge Masters Swim Club which meets at the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre and can occasionally be found at the University climbing wall.

Lowell also worked as a counsellor with Counselling Services at the University where he assisted students in overcoming the stresses that study can bring. Mental health and wellness is an issue which Lowell still continues to advocate for, and hopes he can inspire others to do the same by being a part of the Amazing Race Canada.

“Challenges can be overcome. There is support available for people. I couldn’t do this race without Julie, that doesn’t make me weak, but I just need an extra bit of help,” says Lowell. “The University can also help people who feel like they’re struggling with course work or struggling in life. Just get support. It’s not a weakness to ask for help, it’ actually a strength,” says Lowell.

As to their adventure-filled, reality TV experience, the Taylors have to remain tight lipped until the show airs, but did have some advice for anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps.

“It’s a lot harder than it looks! We sat at home on the couch, fully rested and eating and saying “oh the clue box is there and that’s really simple, we could totally do that task.” It’s so much harder in person!” laughs Lowell.

Stay up-to-date and cheer on our amazing alumni as their journey airs on Tuesday’s at 8 p.m. on CTV.


Alumni set to thrill on Amazing Race Canada

Julie Taylor (BA ’05) and Lowell Taylor (BFA ’04) are set to become household names this week as the Amazing Race Canada kicks off its fourth season.

A married couple and parents to two boys, Julie and Lowell Taylor may have a few more obstacles than most in their path to victory on the reality tv program. Lowell suffers from a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa which has now rendered him legally blind. While the registered psychologist has been learning to live with decreased vision, it certainly hasn't stopped him from experiencing all that life has to offer.

Lowell is a para-triathlete and para-cyclist who recently earned two bronze medals at the Canadian Track Championships with partner and pilot Mark MacDonald on the tandem bike. Julie works in town as a speech and language therapist.

According to the show's webpage, the Lethbridge couple wanted to compete in the Amazing Race before Lowell's vision decreases even further. Be sure to cheer on our amazing alumni on CTV starting this Tuesday at 8 p.m.