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Organ Donation: The Gift of Life

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Social networking is amazing sometimes!  In this case, it is responsible for connecting two very special families.

You may remember the story about Taylor Storch, a beautiful, bright, vivacious 13 year-old who died in a tragic ski accident last spring.  Her loving parents made the decision to donate Taylor’s organs so that other families might benefit. In one of the darkest moments of their lives, Todd and Tara gave the biggest gift there is, the gift of life!

Following their decision, they became committed to educating others about organ donation by starting Taylor’s Gift Foundation. Since the inception of TGF 6 months ago, the Storch’s have been busy with events all aimed at helping people, especially younger people, become aware of organ donation and enabling them to sign up to become an organ donor.

There are currently over 100,00 men, women, and children awaiting an organ for transplantation.  Only 37% of adults over 18 are currently enrolled in donor registries. The Storch family knew they could make a difference in these numbers.

The Storch’s have also used Facebook, twitter, YouTube and other social media to effectively spread the message of Taylor’s Gift.

Taylor donated organs that saved 5 lives. Because of social media, the recipient of Taylor’s heart, a woman in Arizona, knew the story of the young girl that had been her organ donor.  Via social networking the Storch family was able to communicate with the recipient of Taylor’s heart, and slowly, a bond, which began over the internet and texting, developed between the two families.

Several weeks ago Todd and Tara Storch went to Arizona to meet the woman who had received Taylor’s heart!  Patricia Winters is the mother of two boys, and she had been a “cardiac cripple”, unable to even care for her children due to the severity of her heart disease.  She is now back in good health due to Taylor’s life saving organ donation and the Storch family wanted to not only meet Patricia but they wanted to hear Taylor’s heart, a very strong young heart, continue to beat. Life goes on for another family due to Taylor’s heart.

The story of their reunion was documented by the Dallas ABC affiliate and shown on our nightly news.  The story not only touched so many who saw it locally, but it was also picked up by “Good Morning America”, and then aired on “ABC Nightly News” too!  Soon the “Today” show called and both families were re-united in New York talking with Meredith Vieira. How quickly the message of Taylor’s Gift Foundation spread; Taylor’s story was definitely going to be the beginning of something even greater.

The social network and media were all instrumental in making Taylor Storch’s story a national and even international story about the need for organ donation.  Signing up to be an organ donor is a SMALL and easy step for a BIG gift.

Go to to read the story, see the video and then make the choice to save a life and sign up to donate your organs.  The reality is that we will all die one day, and maybe we or one we love could save another person’s life.  Think about it.

That’s your daily dose for today.  We’ll chat again tomorrow.

Send your comment or question to Dr. Sue!

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