It was March of 2010, on our first day of Spring Break in Colorado, when my husband, Todd and I were faced with something we never thought we’d ever face in our lifetime…our oldest daughter Taylor had been in a skiing accident, and the doctors told us there was no hope of her surviving. In the hospital, we were asked a question that we weren’t prepared for; the question was, “Your daughter is a beautiful candidate for organ donation; would you consider it?”
I distinctly remember looking at my husband as he stood by Taylor’s bedside, and we both immediately said yes. Taylor was such a giving child that we knew this was something she would have chosen for herself if she had been asked that question.
We were not a family that sat around the dinner table talking about organ donation. In fact, I’m not sure if Todd and I had ever talked about it. Our mortality was something we both didn’t want to talk about, much less the mortality of our children.
That would never happen to us. So we thought.
Looking back at that horrible day, Todd and I have said so many times that it was a privilege to have said yes to that question. Taylor saved and improved the lives of five people. But it wasn’t just the recipients that were affected, it was their families and friends who were also touched by Taylor’s gift of life.
The ripple effect was astounding us.
When we returned home from Colorado and started our lives without our oldest child, Todd started doing some research about organ donation and found out that in April 2010, our great state of Texas had only 2% of registered organ donors. We kept asking why that was, but most importantly how that could be. It sparked a passion and purpose in us that we have no words for to this day. We knew somehow we could make a difference in this world and honor our precious daughter at the same time.
Taylor’s Gift Foundation was that answer.
Todd’s grandfather told him while he was growing up, “It’s not what happens to you that matters, but how you react to it that does.” Now, don’t read this wrong, of course it mattered to us (and crushed our hearts) to lose our daughter; however, we had a choice. We could either cave up in the grief or try to find the good. We knew our reaction was going to be important.
We chose to react and focus on the good that came out of our tragedy.
We started Taylor’s Gift Foundation in 2010, and soon after we began, we met Taylor’s heart recipient. The story of us meeting Patricia aired on Good Morning America ( video) and it launched our Foundation nationally. We have been working tirelessly to increase organ donations registrations across the country, and we are proud to say that our state of Texas has increased over 5,000,000 (that’s a 630% increase) due to our efforts and our efforts of our peers!
One large need we quickly noticed that was going unserved were families who had been touched by organ donation. There are many families who have had a family member give the gift of life, and for some of those families, the unexpected financial costs from a funeral or losing a breadwinner could be crushing.
We currently help those families through our Legacy Gift program. The funds raised at our upcoming tournament at Topgolf in The Colony, Texas will go to the mission of Taylor’s Gift, which includes our Legacy Gift program to help local North Texas-area families and support our scholarships given to high school seniors!
We are thrilled that Topgolf invited us to have our tournament at The Colony location and hope you will join us! Registrations and sponsors are pouring in with support, and we really appreciate every one of them. Interested in being a sponsor? Click here!
Come meet our host George Dunham from SportsRadio 1310 the Ticket, and stick around after the tournament for special concert from his band The Bird Dogs! Other celebrities will be there, such as four time Pro Bowl Dallas Cowboys legend Everson Walls and Olympic Gold Medalist Carly Patterson.
How will you Outlive Yourself?
We hope to see you on Friday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m., and join us to Tee off for Taylor’s Gift Foundation!
Written by Tara Storch
Co-founder, Taylor's Gift