Taylor Paige Storch lost her life in a skiing accident in Colorado in 2010. She was only 13 years old.
Through the confusion, the grief and the pain of her loss, her parents, Todd and Tara Storch of Coppell, made the decision to donate Taylor's organs to help others.
“It's a tragedy and triumph story,” said Todd Storch. “Taylor passed away just over four years ago. We were fortunate enough to be able to donate her organs, which has saved the lives of five people.”
Donated organs included Taylor's heart, kidneys, corneas and liver.
“From a personal standpoint, we know four of the five recipients and that's very rare,” Storch said. “We've got a personal relationship with three out of the four — the heart recipient, one kidney recipient and the cornea recipient. We're very blessed by that.”
The impact Taylor's organs has made on others moved the Storches to continue to help save lives by encouraging people to donate their organs.
“My wife and I made a decision that we were going to try to help as many people as we could through this, and it helped us in our grieving process,” Storch said.
Together, the couple created the Taylor's Gift Foundation, which is devoted to the promotion of organ donation.
“We started the foundation to increase organ donors over the country, especially Texas,” Storch said. “Texas only had two percent (population of organ donors) in 2010, which has grown to 30 percent, representing over 5 million people.”
Additionally, the foundation's purpose is to promote awareness of the importance of organ donation.
“It helps people understand why they should register, and if they don't know (how), they can get registered in their official state's database,” Storch said. “We have this conversation wrapped around ‘Outlive Yourself.' (Conversations about organ donation are) taboo. We want to make this conversation more natural. So, to ‘Outlive Yourself,' you are leaving the world a better place than when you found it. A piece of that is making a decision to become an organ donor with your family.”
The foundation also focuses on giving back to school students through scholarships and the Legacy Gifts program.
“The program is unique in a sense that organ procurement organizations are the hands and feet that deal with families who have to make a decision,” Storch said. “We partner with two of the largest OPOs in the country (Southwest Plains Pan Alliance and the New York Organ Donor Network). Our vision for the foundation is to partner with all 58 OPOs. OPOs know the families that are really struggling.”
Young County A&M Club annual Aggie Muster Ceremony
• 7 p.m. Monday April 21, at the Wildcatter Ranch & Resort's Convention Center
• Tickets available at the door for $25 per person, and includes dinner and the program.
• RSVP with expected attendees to email@example.com
• Need not be an Aggie to attend