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A Legacy Gift Story: Woman Finds Hope in Organ Donation After Husband's Fatal Brain Aneurysm

 

(Please note, this story was originally written and published on People.com)

Carlotta Williams was enjoying New Year’s Day with her children at her Franklin, Texas, home earlier this year when she received tragic news. About 30 miles away, in Bryan, her husband Brandon Baker had suffered an aneurysm while chopping wood with his friends that afternoon.

“I told his friends to get him to the hospital and I took off. I was in shock. I could not believe this was happening,” she said, recalling the drive to the facility. “I was numb, I was trying to wrap my head around everything. I was just in disbelief.”

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Touched by Organ Donation: Outlasting the Final Breath

My name is Jill Stephenson. I am a donor sister and mother. In July of 1982, my eleven-year old brother, J.T. was struck by a car and killed instantly. Two cars behind the one that hit him was a highway patrolman who administered CPR and saved him, temporarily.

Unfortunately, he was declared brain dead and removed from life support ten days later. Those ten days on life support helped prepare him to give the gift of life to strangers. When the doctors asked my family to consider donation we didn’t hesitate. We knew that if J.T. was able to make that decision for himself, he would have.

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2017 Taylor's Gift Scholarship Recipient Shares "What 'Outlive Yourself' Means to Me"

 

 

Seven months ago, I set out on a journey that pulled me halfway across the country to Saint Louis University. To say that this adventure was always easy would be lying. Change is difficult. Moving away from family is hard. Continuously discovering and rediscovering who you are and who you want to be takes a lot of work! When we stop and really think about it though, what is all of that work for? 

 

 

 

(Gabriela Keator, pictured center, with two friends Hannah and Julia.)

I feel as though many work through life trying to be something. I cannot tell you how many times either I have asked another person or have been asked myself: “What do you want to do? What do you want to be? What is your plan?”

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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.

"Breathe!"

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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