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13-month-old "Smilin Rylen" Continues to Give Life After Passing

Written by Kristen Cowan, mother of Rylen Cowan 

On June 5, 2017 our sweet Rylen who was only 13 months old, earned his angel wings after a battle with Bacterial Meningitis. We don’t know why God chose to have Rylen return to Heaven so soon, but what we have learned is that God has this amazing PLAN that is still unfolding to this very day! You see, though his life was short, he is our BIGGEST HERO. We feel blessed to know that he made a HUGE impact on this Earth.

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Mother Of Heart Transplant Recipient Shares Story of Hope

Our son was born in August 1998 in Anchorage, Alaska. I had a normal pregnancy with all the prenatal appointments, vitamins, and check-ups. I may have packed on a few too many pounds, but I was healthy and thrilled to be having a baby boy.

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A Selfless Gift Given: A Priceless Gift Received

Written by Paul Daniels, Cornea Transplant Recipient, Husband, and Father

It was late June, 2010, when the poison ivy rash spread from my torso and arms to my forehead and left cheek. By the time I realized that this rash was different, the shingles had already begun attack my optic nerve and left eye socket. A journey that brought deep clarity and understanding of an all too familiar phrase, “You don’t know how much something means to you until it is gone” had begun.

Those That Keep On Giving

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The Miracle of Life: How a Double-Lung Transplant Saved My Daughter's Life

A note from Taylor's Gift Foundation: In honor of National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, we are re-sharing this beautiful story written by Denni Cheney, who is the mother of Morgan, a young lady diagnosed with cystic fibrosis who received a double-lung transplant. Read about her inspiring story below! 

This story feels like a dream and I’m still wondering if the reality of it will ever really sink in. 

It began on February 1, 1990 when a beautiful baby girl, named Morgan, was born to two loving parents, who were young and excited about becoming new parents.  Never did they think about what the next 26 years would bring.  As we took our beautiful baby Morgan home from the hospital, we knew something was wrong, but had no idea what is was.  We took her to five different doctors and they had no idea either.

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Learning to Breath: Cherishing New Life After a Lung Transplant

"Breathe, Selwa! Breathe."

I gasp for air as I tell myself again.


But my breath does not come easy. I fight the tears that begin to well up in my eyes as I pretend not to struggle in front of my children. We had just walked from the parking lot into the grocery store, a long walk when you have 23% lung function.

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How Losing My Brother Taught Me To Outlive Myself


Two words that, when separate, seem innocuous; however, when they are put together, they can pack quite a punch.  As Yoda, the wise mentor from Star Wars, would probably tell the Jedi council if those words came up in a meeting, “Ponder upon these, I must.”

Too often, I feel, many of us, myself included, take many things in life for granted.  How many times do we wake up and just go about the morning routine, not even thinking about how each day, each minute, each second, is a GIFT, not a given right?

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Inspiring Change: Scholarship Recipient Shares What 'Outlive Yourself' Means To Her

This post is written by Allison Lipovsky, a Taylor's Gift Scholarship recipient. 

My parents have always taught me that if you do good for others that good things will come to you. Our family followed this tradition through donating my uncle’s organs after he passed away.  Although it was recently his birthday, it is comforting to know that he continues to live on by helping the lives of others for many years to come.

I try to live my life by this motto either at school or in my community. I always try to make a lasting impact on the lives of the people I interact with on a daily basis. This is what I believe "Outlive Yourself" means, as well as the inspiring decision to be an organ donor.

I have worked to do a lot of good within my local community and have to volunteered at several local food distribution centers. I also participated in and helped create a program called “Strike Out for Hunger”, which raises money for organizations that help feed individuals in need through asking for contributions for every strike a pitcher makes in a game. The program has raised thousands of dollars for local charities and is expanding to other local schools. After the first year, I involved pitchers throughout the area to participate and I believe they will continue to help this program grow. Through this cause, I believe this is one way that I am outliving myself.

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A Selfless Gift Grants New Life To Heart Transplant Recipient

Written by: Leslie Lentz

Our family’s lives were completely changed in April 2007 when my husband, at just thirty-one years old, was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  My husband was a former collegiate athlete and was in incredible shape. We would have never imagined that he would be diagnosed with heart failure and at the time, we did not know anything about heart disease.

I was five months pregnant with our second child and our oldest child was only five when he was diagnosed. The doctor came out, sat me down, and said to start preparing myself that he may not make it out of surgery. You can imagine how a pregnant woman with a five-year-old child might take this news, it was not a pretty sight.  Luckily, my husband made it out of surgery and we started a new and unknown phase in our lives.Our family’s lives were completely changed in April 2007 when my husband, at just thirty-one years old, was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  My husband was a former collegiate athlete and was in incredible shape. We would have never imagined that he would be diagnosed with heart failure and at the time, we did not know anything about heart disease.

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2016 Scholarship Recipient Story: Creating Change Starts With Taking The First Step

Written by: Brontae Williamson, 2016 Taylor's Gift Foundation Scholarship recipient presented by NIKE North America Merchandising and a freshman student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.

We all desire to leave our mark on the world, but what does that really mean? To me, outliving yourself is about creating a future, not only for yourself, but for others. For me, outliving myself has meant being able to make a difference in the lives of those around me. Through my past experiences volunteering with teens at Vista Maria (a local shelter for abused teen girls); multiple animal shelters and food banks; and traveling to Germany on a foreign exchange program, I have learned that the short relationships I build with others can make a real-world impact. My volunteer experiences have inspired me to pursue a degree in Product Design, a field where I will dedicate my life to creating products that not only improve people’s way of life, but make a difference within communities and the environment.

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Giving Donor Families Hope And Help In Tragedy


Written by Noe Narro, Family Services Coordinator at Southwest Transplant Alliance

As a Family Service Coordinator for Southwest Transplant Alliance (STA), I am extremely thankful for Taylor’s Gift Foundation and the unique service they provide to our donor families through their Legacy Gift program. Each donor family I encounter means the world to me. We create a lasting bond as I assist them through a difficult time in their life, the loss of a loved one.  

During the time of a donor family’s grief, I determine what each family might need. Do they need additional grief support? Someone to just be beside them and listen? Do they have a place to stay while out of town or are they struggling to pay for unexpected expenses? My job is to be there for our families to help and guide them during their time of grief.

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