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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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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In Loving Memory of Patricia Winters: The Gift of Friendship and Taylor's Gift of Life

Note from Taylor's Gift Foundation: On December 19, 2013 we mourned the loss of a dear friend, and the recipient of Taylor's heart, Patricia Winters. In her memory we are honored to have the opportunity to share a touching story from her lifetime best friend, Debra. This is a blog post that was originally posted on December 18th, 2014.

Written By Debra Salac, Best Friend to Patricia Winters (Taylor's Heart Recipient)

Two teenage girls working in a small drugstore. That is how my friendship with Patricia Navarino-Winters began. We were 16 year old girls who, oddly enough, both drove Silver Datsun 210’s and bonded over the love we had for them. We pulled all-nighters eating Taco Bell and sharing the endless hopes and dreams we had for our lives. And mostly, we laughed.

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A Double-Lung Transplant Recipient On Living a Joyous Journey

Written by Nicole Brewer, Double-lung Transplant Recipient

(Note from Taylor's Gift Foundation: This blog post was originally posted on January 14th, 2016 on

I received a second chance at life on April 17, 2008, when I received a new pair of lungs. My story is a little ironic;  I was a collegiate soccer player who loved to continuously run up and down the soccer field, but life had a different plan for me, and it continues to be a journey of joyous unknowns. 

Like many transplant recipients, my husband and I have been on quite a journey! I’ll give a short synopsis of my disease and what led to having a double lung transplant and this second chance at life. But the thing is, this journey is not over. There are many unknowns. But there is an abundance of life and love.

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How My Life Was Saved By an Organ Donor - My Five Organ Transplant

Please note: This story was originally published on May 27th, 2015. 

Written By: Carissa Haston, Transplant Recipient

It was about midnight on March 12, 2006 when my life changed forever: I was at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center awaiting a life saving transplant. Earlier that day I had been admitted with fluctuating blood pressure and I was a scrawny 62 pounds. I had days, if not just hours, left to live. 

Due to gastroparesis and chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, two gastrointestinal conditions which lead to paralysis of the GI tract, I had not eaten in 12 years. I relied on nutrition through IV lines (something known as TPN), but with so many near-fatal blood infections from the central lines, I had lost most of my veins and they were losing the ability to feed me anymore. As a complication of TPN, my liver was failing. 

For 13 months I had waited for a transplant of my stomach, small bowel, pancreas, liver, and duodenum. 

Photo: Carissa's Outlive Yourself Pledge is to "advocate for cures for others!" How will you #outliveyourself?

Waiting and Hoping

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A Sister's Story Celebrating the Beautiful Life of Abbye Irons

A note from Taylor's Gift Foundation team: We were so honored for Kate Dorff to be the 2015 Outlive Yourself Awards Event Chair and were equally inspired by her family's commitment to raise awareness and support of organ donation. In this post, Kate shares the beautiful story of her sister's life. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Abbye's loving family and friends as they celebrate her beautiful life. 

Written by Kate Dorff, Recipient Family Member

Our story is different. How I wish the last paragraph of this post would end with you reading about my sister, Abbye, and the restoration of life that came with the gift of a new heart. Instead, this ending is going to be hard to read. It will most likely shake you to your core; leave you staring at your computer, wishing for an answer to one of life’s most infamous questions: why do bad things happen to good people? You might shake your fists at the sky or find your mouth hanging wide open with utter shock as you try and process the narrative. The main character is my twenty-eight year old sister who, in 2011, at age twenty-three, was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy. This diagnosis catapulted Abbye, my mom, and me down a road ending in our present circumstances; I wish we had taken a wrong turn along the way.

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Organ Donation's Biggest Fan: Clutch "The Rockets Bear"

Written by Robert Boudwin, aka Clutch "The Rockets Bear"

In 2011 after my Dad had suffered for four years from IPF - a degenerative and terminal lung disease that has no known cure or treatment - his health was getting rapidly worse and the only solution left was a lung transplant. Knowing that someone you love is in need of an organ transplant is a nerve wracking experience. Because organs are in high demand and short supply, doctors must ensure that organs go to those patients who can benefit the most. To be a candidate you need to be sick enough to significantly benefit from a transplant, but not so sick that the transplant won’t help if there are other problems. The only thing we could do was hope and pray for a donor before things got worse.

(Photo: With my now wife Amy after running

13.1 miles for organ donation)

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Choosing The Gift Of Life: ZTA Sister Inspired By Taylor's Story

Written by Carley Roseberry, President of Zeta Tau Alpha Chapter at Texas A&M. 

Note from Taylor's Gift Team:

A few weeks ago we received a beautiful note from the Zeta's at Texas A&M University making a contribution to Taylor's Gift Foundation in honor of a sister who had recently passed. The chapter had heard of Taylor's story through a talk that Tara Storch, Taylor's Gift Foundation Co-Founder, had given at an event several months prior. We asked if they would share their story and Carley Roseberry, President of the ZTA chapter at Texas A&M sent the below text. Thank you to the sweet women of ZTA for sharing this inspirational story!


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Heart Transplant Recipient Is Given A Second Chance at Life

Written by Kristy Thackeray, Heart Transplant Recipient. 

(Dawn's mom feeling her daughters' heart beat for the first time in 18 years, picture credit: Kristy Thackeray)

The year is 1996 and newspaper headlines are swirling around my home Province of Alberta in Canada centered around one subject. Me.

It all started when I was diagnosed with an extremely rare heart disease at age 14 and my mom and dad started a fight to save my life. They were racing to double my chances of getting a heart transplant in time and were battling to have my name added to a transplant waiting list in the United States.

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A Friend's Sacrifice Gives New Life To Kidney Recipient

Written by Shannon Hamilton, Kidney Transplant Recipient. 

(From rightt: Tony Bridwell (Kidney donor), Shannon Hamilton (Kidney recipient))

I know it is very cliché, but you never really think it will happen to you.  Whatever “it” is, it will not happen to you.  The “it’ I am talking about is needing a kidney transplant.  The weird thing is that back in 2005 my nephrologist told me that I would eventually need to start dialysis but it never really sunk in what this meant. 

Later that summer I had a stunt put in before I went back to law school, just in case I had to start dialysis immediately. But by the grace of God, by eating better and exercising more, I was able to avoid dialysis for over five years. In 2010, the doctor called my wife and I into the office and told us that the time had come and I would have to begin dialysis within the next few weeks.  No matter how good my diet was or how much I worked out, my kidneys had been damaged to the point of no return and dialysis was the only way I would survive.

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