|Photo’s courtesy of Todd and Tara Storch and Revell Publishing|
Losing a child is heartbreaking. I can only imagine the devastating grief a parent must feel. Tara and Todd Storch know all too well how difficult it is. Three years ago they lost their thirteen year old daughter Taylor.
The Texas family was on a ski trip in Colorado when tragedy struck. It was the last ski run, on the last day of the trip when Taylor had
a terrible accident. She lost control and hit a tree. She suffered a
devastating head injury that she did not survive.
Dad, Tara and Todd, said yes. A decision that was difficult but made sense. Their caring, loving and generous daughter would have wanted to help others this way. Taylor’s gift of life helped save the lives of five
ever imagine living. The Storch’s lived through it because of their faith,
family and friends. There were moments of deep grief, heart breaking days and
uplifting hope and new purpose. They created a foundation in Taylor’s name, www.taylorsgift.org. They promote the need for organ donation but the website is also a resource for potential donors, family members of donors and the recipients. Now the Storch’s are sharing their story of
life, loss and love in a new book called Taylor’s Gift.
from the beginning of the Storch’s journey with Taylor’s accident, through
their heart breaking grief and to their new found life purpose, spreading the
message of organ donation through their foundation Taylor’s Gift.org. There are moments in the book where the grief
is almost too devastating to read about.
I can honestly admit I had to put the book down a few times to contain
myself. There were moments I found myself reading through my tears. The Storch’s story resonates with so many
people because it is easy to see how their story could easily be your story, or
my story. It could happen to any one of us. Todd and Tara have incredible strength. Their faith helped
them survive some of the darkest days of their lives. It allowed them to find
purpose in their tragedy. They found hope even in the despair of losing Taylor.
Organ donation gave them hope and new found purpose. “We knew in our heart
because of the type of child Taylor was (such a giving, caring child) that that
would be what she would want. We made that decision for her knowing in our
hearts it was the right one”, says Tara. “It was a privilege to be able to be
asked that question of ‘will you choose to donate your daughter’s organs? She’s
a beautiful candidate for this. Would you consider that?’” Tara says it was a
privilege to be asked to donate Taylor’s organs. It helped both Tara and Todd to know they
weren’t losing Taylor completely, that she could live on in the lives of the
people she was saving.
organ donation. They want people to know it is more about life than death.
“It’s not necessarily about death, it’s truly about life. There is good that
can come out of bad things. It really is the love story that connects with
people” says Todd. “Just like life
insurance it is a gift to those who are left behind. Organ donation is the same
thing. It is truly a gift to a whole lot more people.”
received Taylor’s organs, including the woman who received Taylor’s heart. They
write about meeting these people in their book. The recipients and their
families have become like an extended family to the Storch’s. One of the most
moving parts of the book is when Tara re-tells the story of the day she heard
Taylor’s heart beating again, beating in the chest of a woman. It was so
moving. It brought me to tears.
sad. The book has an inspiring message of life, love, giving and hope. There is hope in knowing the lives of five
people and their families live on.
States. Todd and Tara, and their other children hope by
sharing their story you are inspired to find out more about organ donation and
you register to be a donor. In the US,
over 115,000 people are waiting for life-saving organs; however, 19 people a
day die waiting for this gift. Go to TaylorsGift.org for more information about
the foundation, the book and how to be an organ donor in the United States. Thousands of people in Canada are also waiting
for life saving organs. In Ontario alone, there are over 1,500 people awaiting
a transplant according to the Trillium Gift of Life Network http://www.giftoflife.on.ca. Canada’s rates for organ donation are very low: 22 per cent in Ontario, 18 per cent in British Columbia. Canada’s rates are one of the lowest among countries that perform transplants. As Tara
and Todd Storch stress, the process to become a donor is so simple. It is just
a click away. Here in Canada, go to www.beadonor.ca to find out more about organ
donation and register to be a donor.
awareness about organ donation and to encourage more people to join the
conversation. Taylor’s Gift Foundation has joined forces with nail polish
company OPI. “OPI has partnered with us and created a Taylor Blue Colour this
is exclusive for Taylor’s Gift Foundation” says Tara. For a dollar a finger,
$10, you can buy a bottle of Taylor Blue nail polish and all the money will go
to help support the foundation. You can
post your picture on social media with the #Taylor Blue to take part of the
Paint It Forward campaign. Tara says it is a fun way to promote the foundation
and raise awareness of organ donation.
I received a copy of Taylor’s Gift courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Baker Publishing. Taylor’s Gift is available at your favourite bookseller and online from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.