We are so excited to announce that May’s Volunteer of the Month is... Larry Hediger! "Liver Larry", as we've lovingly nicknamed him, is a five year liver recipient and a true treasure to us at Taylor's Gift Foundation. Larry, thank you so much for all you do!
Called to Connect for the Cause of Organ Donation
Being an organ recipient, Larry felt called to support Taylor’s Gift after hearing Founder, Todd Storch speak at a local gathering. Helping out at one of our first events, he has been an active volunteer with the foundation since the very beginning.
Attending almost every major event, Larry has helped us in so many capacities. Helping both in front of and behind the scenes, he is incredibly generous - always eagerto give his time and talent to help further the Taylor's Gift misson. Passionate about sharing his story, we were so excited to have Larry as a featured speaker with Founders Todd and Tara at the Collin College Distinguished Lecture Series back in October of 2013.
We love having Larry at our events! He is always wearing a smile, meeting and interacting with participants. It seems simple, but he is making a HUGE impact for the cause of organ donation; he is living proof of the work that Taylor's Gift exists for!
Larry, you are a gift to us and we thank you for for every moment of time you have so generously given to us!
A Volunteer's Perspective
We asked Larry a few questions about volunteering with us... check out what he had to say!
1. What made you want to volunteer with Taylor's Gift?
About a year prior to the beginning of Taylor’s Gift Foundation, I received a liver transplant on March 26th, 2009. This amazing gift of life that I received, dramatically impacted my family, friends and myself. As my first anniversary with the new liver approached, I continued to explore ways to bring deeper meaning to this extended opportunity of life.
Sadly, living within the same small community as the Storch Family, I heard about a horrific skiing accident over Spring Break 2010. As well as the impact that Taylor’s organs gave five people, I witnessed how the church, community, friends, and complete strangers reached out to support Todd, Tara, Ryan, and Peyton when they returned home. I observed Taylor’s classmates create the memorial garden at Coppell Middle School East as a tribute to this wonderful young woman.
I attended an event where Todd shared their story and how they were starting Taylor’s Gift. I knew I needed to support Todd and Tara in their mission to increase organ donation awareness because if it wasn’t for that 19 year old male that made the decision to register as an organ donor, I would not be here today. I knew in my heart, that this is exactly what I was looking for. After Todd finished speaking, I asked for Todd’s email address so I could share with him my recipient side of the story. He called me a short time later and I have been volunteering every since. Thank you Taylor's GIft for allowing me to share in this experience with you.
2. How has serving with Taylor's Gift impacted your life?
Supporting and working with Taylor’s Gift from early on as a volunteer for events has given me an opportunity to share my experience as a organ recipient to thousands of people. In addition, to provide people living proof that organ donation and transplants not only work but are an implausible way to “outlive yourself”.
3. What has been your favorite experience/memory volunteering with Taylor's Gift?
Every event that I attend, I like to find one or two “take away” moments. These moments might be someone that I met, a story of another transplant recipient, or one of my favorites… ”You don’t look sick enough to need a liver transplant!” Trust me, I did.
During this year’s annual Sporting Clays event, Representative Bennett Ratliff donated a special “Mission Rocking Chair” made by TCI (Texas Correctional Industries) to the live auction that a recent heart recipient fell in love with. Items made by TCI are not available to the general public and are very unique. An individual that participated in the Sporting Clay event was so moved by the her recipient testimonial that he out bid all of the other bidders to win the chair. He then immediately looked over to give the custom rocker to her. She was in tears at his incredible act of kindness. This type of moment would not have happened if it wasn’t for Taylor’s Gift!
How YOU Can Get Involved with Taylor's Gift
Want to get involved with Taylor's Gift? Check out some great ways to get involved with Taylor's Gift!