Written By Kaitlyn McClew, 2013 Taylor’s Gift Scholarship Winner
Kaitlyn is a 2013 Taylor's Gift Scholarship winner from Coppell, Texas. She is a freshman at Texas A&M University pursuing and degree in International Studies and a minor in French, in hopes to work with a Non-Profit in West Africa.
As a child, I was born into the .01% of American children with a heart defect and misplaced valves. Venosus Atrial Septal Defect means that I had un-oxygenated blood circulating throughout my body. My heart had swollen to a dangerous size with the task of keeping me alive. By a miracle, it was discovered in a routine check-up.
It Felt Like a Second Chance
I had open-heart surgery as an eleven year old. Thankfully, I was not in need of an entirely new heart, but if my condition had gone unnoticed, it was a strong possibility. I felt as though I had been granted a second chance at life - exactly what Taylor’s Gift Foundation does.
I think ‘Outlive Yourself’ is a perfect fit for Taylor’s Gift. It encompasses all the gifts of organ donation, both for the one giving-who is able to help someone they leave behind, and the recipient-who has the opportunity to live on, carrying the legacy of their benefactor along with them.
How I Can Respond
I was prompted to “Outlive Myself” exclusively by the Storch family. I knew very little about organ donation before I heard their story. The love shown by Taylor’s family and the genuine grace created by the process, made it clear how important donation is. Organ donation is not only a generous choice, but also a wonderful way for a family to rejoice in a loved one’s life.
Taylor’s Gift has shown me the power one life has. The Storch family has taken their tragedy and nursed it into national joy over their daughter. I am now a huge advocate for organ donation and have a habit of telling anyone who will listen about the beautiful generosity it shows. Receiving the Taylor’s Gift Scholarship has encouraged me to continue to 'Outlive Myself' on a daily basis.
I am now an organ donor and am certified in CPR. As one who could have been on the receiving side of Taylor’s Gift, this charity and organ donation as a whole will always hold great value in my life.
Learn About the 2014 Taylor's Gift Scholarship
This year Taylor's Gift Foundation will be awarding a total of four Taylor's GIft Scholarships, each in the amount of $1000; 2 of these are National scholarships open to Seniors in the US. Applications are now being accepted and Taylor's Gift invites 2014 high school seniors to apply! Visit TaylorsGift.org/Scholarship for application information.
Want to help make this scholarship possible?