The saying, “Life can change in an instant” rings true for the Storch family of Coppell .
On March 15, 2010, 13-year-old Taylor Storch lost her life in a tragic skiing accident. As a result, their lives are forever changed and they are forever changing the world through awareness of organ donation. Because of Taylor, five people’s lives were saved and five families have renewed hope.
Prior to March 15, 2010, I was in the 90% of the population that believed in organ donation. However, until June 23, 2010, I could only agree with it and not bring myself to register as a donor. Sure, I had always thought about it and wanted to, but just didn’t. Maybe it is something about facing my own mortality and having to imagine an uncomfortable place and time. So, I went to the website and began the process at least eight times and stopped. Finally, after watching videos of Taylor, hearing about her “gifts” and seeing the hope in her family’s eyes with their decision, my decision was easy.
Whether you knew Taylor or her family or not, you definitely felt their loss. We are blessed to live in a community where we open our hearts, our minds and lives to comfort, support, love and even grieve as one, together.
I ask you to please go to www.TaylorsGift.org and read about it, watch the documentary trailer, donate to the foundation and most importantly become a registered organ donor. It takes less time than it did reading this article. I urge and challenge each and every one of you to make a difference by donating and registering as a donor. It starts with you…
The following is an interview with Taylor’s father, Todd Storch, who recently quit his job to work full-time promoting organ donation.
Youth Sports Today: Before you were faced with the decision of organ donation, was it something you talked about with your family?
Todd Storch: No. We never talked about this before Taylor’s accident. At the hospital Tara and I were in the same place mentally. We knew what we were dealing with and when they came into the hospital room and asked if we would consider being an organ donor, thank God we said yes. I looked at Tara and we knew it, I said absolutely, that’s what Taylor would do. Looking back on that decision, I mean here we are about to meet the first of the five organ recipients. This man has her pancreas and kidney, was a 40-year insulin dependent diabetic, six days a week dialysis and he’s cured! We get to spend time with him. Also, we think we have found the recipient of Taylor’s heart. It’s a woman who lives in Arizona that we found through social media.
When we came back and we actually spent some time with Taylor’s friends and talking with them and to help them through what they were dealing with, it was part of the eye opening and understanding of what God had laid out in front of us. It was clear what we needed to do with this foundation. The kids, 6th, 7th 8th grade were so touched at what Taylor was doing through her death with organ donation. I mean a husband that was saved, her heart, two corneas; she brought sight to people, life to 5 people. That gives you hope to hang on to. So when you are talking to young people, young adults they don’t understand why you wouldn’t do it, it just makes so much sense to them to save lives. It’s a generational thing.
There is a whole social awareness now about organ donation. The conversations they would and are going home and having with their parents. They are telling how Taylor saved lives by donating her organs, and asking if they are organ donors and can they be organ donors. Just the open conversation beyond organ donation they are having with their parents is one of the things that is filling us right now.
I ultimately think that through our foundation and through a lot of people we can make organ donation not be an issue. I mean we’re not trying to solve cancer; we’re not trying to figure out how to find a vaccine for AIDS. We are just trying to reach a number. If we can get enough people to sign up and just sustain it, there won’t be a 7 year wait list for kidneys. I mean all it is a number. So, that’s what we are going to strive to do.
YST: How do you know who the recipients are and did the organ donor organization introduce you to the recipients?
TS: There are very strict, tight rules and HIPPA regulations. The donor families and the recipient families all have to want to meet. So you sign waivers, paperwork, letters, photos, etc put it all together and submit it in a package to the organization. We are the first donor and recipients that have circumvented that organization and found each other through Facebook. The daughter of the man we are meeting first contacted me and said she thought her Father has Taylor’s organs. So we contacted the Donate Life Organization and they verified it and said, “Oh My God, you are the first people to find each other outside of our help.”
YST: How has your outlook on life and life itself (the day to day things we take for granted) changed since Taylor’s accident?
TS: I left my job after lots of prayer and making sure the family was fine with it. If you ask Tara and I both our outlooks on life, it sounds sort of cliché, but there are so many things we used to think were important that are not, and so many little things that we over looked that are massively important. A couple of extra minutes to say good night to your kids, returning that phone call to someone that you really didn’t have time to return but you really should. All of those little things add up o a lot. With our kids there are a lot little things that used to bother us that just don’t anymore. I mean we’re not perfect, we’re parents, but our outlook you know. I personally am trying really, really hard to make a triumph out of this tragedy. It’s filling me, it’s feeding me and it’s giving me a purpose. It’s giving a lot of other people hope and purpose, and I love helping people, that drives www.TaylorsGift.org.