Last week, Emily - our incredible new Executive Director for Taylor’s Gift Foundation - and I made a media visit to Houston, Texas for our upcoming May 15 Topgolf Tournament. Two of our very near and dear partners, Nora’s Home and LifeGift, are located in Houston, and I wanted to make sure that she had an opportunity to meet with them and see the first-hand impact that the Taylor’s Gift Legacy Gift program is making.
Nora’s Home was our first stop when we got into town. I was so excited to show Emily this incredible organization that Taylor’s Gift has partnered with to help transplant families in Houston. Through our Legacy Gift program, Taylor’s Gift has been honored to support the Nora’s Home Adopt-A-Family program that provides transplant patients and their families a place to stay for free, in addition to sponsoring their Family Room where these special families and their children gather and play.
The Little Girl Who Stole My Heart
When we arrived, Kayla, the Executive Director of Nora’s Home, greeted us with a warm welcome and graciously gave us a tour so that Emily could see the beautiful facility; it feels so much more like home than any hotel or hospital room ever could. As we walked into the Taylor’s Gift Foundation Family Room, there was this darling little girl in the middle of the room playing with her mother. The toy box was open and the fact that she was hooked up to oxygen was of little relevance to her - she seemed to be playing like any other three-year-old would, content with the simple joy of playing. As we visited with her mother, she shared with us that her sweet daughter was waiting for a liver. “Without Nora’s Home, we wouldn’t have a place to stay while we wait,” she explained. Kayla looked at me and nodded with appreciation for what we are providing.
Holding back tears, I watched as this little girl who awaits a gift of life play without a care in her mind. There she was, with oxygen tied to her face and a little yellow in color, but she was all smiles. She quickly stole my heart and I couldn’t resist joining her. As we played with the little dolls, all I could think about was how I just wanted to hug her tight! I wanted her life to be saved with a new liver, but knew all too well the other side to that gift. I prayed for her liver to come soon, and comfort for the donor family that this life-saving transplant would come from. Despite knowing the pain and grief of what it’s like to be a donor family, seeing first hand what organ donation can do to improve, or even save, a person’s life is truly a miracle. I wanted this sweet little girl to experience that miracle. To have a life. To grow up.
As I was leaving the room, her mother stopped me. She shared with me how sorry she was for the loss of Taylor and graciously thanked me for the work that Taylor’s Gift is doing to provide support to Nora’s Home. She let me know that she and her daughter play in the Family Room “all the time,” along with many other families, and it brings her daughter “SO much joy to have a place to play.” Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart was so touched to think that Taylor’s Gift had such a special part of giving them such a priceless gift.
Tears still flow for me, but what a gift it is for my heart to see in person all the good that is happening in our sweet daughter’s name. Sweet Taylor, you are touching SO many lives… I am so proud to be your mom.
Join Us at the Houston Topgolf Tournament on May 15
We love this awesome #outliveyourself pledge from the staff at Nora's Home! Have you showed us your pledge? Start at TaylorsGift.org/pledge