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Tae Kwon Do masters, competitors unite in fight for life

Master Jefferson Taylor and Grand Master Dan Levenson from Martial Arts America joined GDL to talk about Taylor’s inspirational story.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — Master Jefferson Taylor and Grand Master Dan Levenson were collegial rivals when it came to Tae Kwon Do. They trained across the street from each other, until Taylor learned he had stage four cancer. Within weeks, he could barely walk, but Master Dan refused to let him give up. He started training him, even if Taylor could only go for a few minutes at a time. Fast forward to months later, and Taylor won a silver medal in a fight against a U.S. national champion. He will compete this week in the U.S. Open Championships televised live on ESPN, Feb. 27 in Orlando. Taylor and Levenson joined GDL to talk about Taylor’s inspirational story. For more on Master Dan’s school Martial Arts America, visit MAASouthTampa.com.

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About Kendall: 

Kendall Kirkham joined “Great Day Live” in November 2017 from Memphis, Tennessee, where she served as morning co-anchor for WMC Action News 5. Prior to her stint in Memphis, Kendall served as co-host of "Tulsa Live" at KOKI in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kendall also worked at KETK in Tyler, Texas, The Dallas Morning News and started her career as an intern for “The Ellen Show” and E! Entertainment.

Kendall has interviewed countless celebrities and notable figures, from Bob Woodward to Arsenio Hall, John Travolta and Paula Deen. She’s hit 9 Gs with the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds, raised money for various charities in three local “Dancing with the Stars” competitions, and even played a gangster on stage for a traveling Broadway show. Kendall is most proud of her work with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She continues to support the hospital in various capacities today.

Kendall is a proud Texas native. She grew up in the Fort Worth area and graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Radio/TV/Film.

Kendall is thrilled to join the “Great Day Live” team and is having a ball highlighting this thriving community. She hopes to bring a smile to viewers at home every single day. In her spare time, Kendall enjoys exploring the countless sights, sounds and eats of Tampa Bay with her husband Jason and son Knox.

About Java: 

Java Ingram is a New Orleans native/Texan and is excited to call Florida home! Prior to joining the “Great Day Live” team, Java served as host of a lifestyle-entertainment show in Birmingham, Alabama. She also woke up dark and early, weekday mornings to help drivers make it to their destinations safely as a traffic anchor.

Java started her on-air broadcast career in the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Tupelo, Mississippi. In Tupelo, she served as morning news anchor, producer and reporter.

Javanté is an award-winning journalist, having been recognized by the Associated Press for Best Anchor, Best Reporter and Best Franchise Reporting, just to name a few.

When she's not working, Java is very passionate about giving back to the community, having served on the corporate boards for The Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi, The Civic Ballet Company, The Doniphan Dance Project and the Leadership Council for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama. She has volunteered also with a number of civic organizations.

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