According to Outlive Yourself Foundation President Tara Storch,
“Organ donation and transplantation doesn’t get a lot of attention during the holiday season. Today, there are 113,000 individuals on the national transplant waiting list and receiving the gift of life is at the top of their Christmas list. There are also countless donor families missing their loved ones at the holiday table this year. This is a unique space where grief and gratefulness come together, and during this season of giving, it’s my wish that you catch the vision of what it really means to Outlive Yourself.
“My entire family will be forever connected to this work because of our personal experience with organ donation.
“We lost our 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, in 2010. After a tragic skiing accident, we were told she had experienced a traumatic brain injury and would not survive. We were then asked an unthinkable question – “would you consider organ donation?” We found ourselves in a stressful environment and in a cold and crowded hospital waiting room. The room was filled with people having a regular hospital experience as our world was falling apart. There was no place for us to go and be together as a family except for the waiting room or a cold conference room. I longed for a safe and comfortable environment to escape and huddle with my family as they transitioned Taylor from a patient to an organ donor. Taylor went on to save five lives through organ donation.
“Fast forward nine years, and although the pain will always be there, I have purpose in my role as President of the Outlive Yourself Foundation. We are building for the future as part of the team at Southwest Transplant Alliance – the Dallas-based organ recovery organization that works in hospitals across the state of Texas to help save lives through organ and tissue donation.
“In the Fall of 2020, the Southwest Transplant Alliance Organ Recovery Center will open its doors. It is the first of its kind in Texas, designed to revolutionize organ donation and transplantation. The recovery center will feature the most innovative science and technology for organ recovery and a center of excellence to put Dallas on the map for training medical professionals. The space will also serve as a focal point for honoring organ donors, their families and the gift of life.
“’Taylor’s Place,’ named in honor my daughter, Taylor, will give care and comfort to organ donor families. While organ donation can provide hope and healing with time, families urgently need a space to decompress, convene with family and care givers, engage with faith leaders, and settle end-of-life decisions. Tears can fall freely, and families can grieve privately here in Taylor’s Place. Yes, this is where the family will mourn, but hopefully also find comfort in knowing their loved one is giving life to others, and that some kind of silver lining can be found during their crisis.
“Our holiday wish is that the community would consider contributing to the capital needs of this special and innovative space.
“I do hope you catch the vision of what it means to Outlive Yourself. Making a difference in the lives of others is something we all aspire to do, and organ donation is a way to beautifully impact so many lives.
“To contribute to this life-saving effort, visit https://outliveyourself.org/support/, or mail a check to the Outlive Yourself Foundation, 5489 Blair Rd, Dallas, TX 75231. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.outliveyourself.org, or contact [email protected]”
* Graphic/photo provided by Outlive Yourself Foundation