Monday, March 28, 2011

Taylor Gave the Greatest Gift

If you've been around awhile, you might recall me talking about my friend who received a kidney transplant a year ago.

It was funny - odd, not ha ha - that, when I learned Jonathan had a donor and was going into surgery, I immediately thought of this story I'd read the day before and wondered...could a 13-year-old girl's kidney be a perfect match for a 33-year-old man? Was it this little girl who was saving the life of my friend?

A few months ago, he and I were talking about how he was trying to get on L.A. Ink to get a memorial tattoo for his donor and I asked him, "Jonathan? Do you know anything about your donor?" He confirmed he did know. And I asked him, "Was it the little girl who was killed skiing?"

He just looked at me with this weird expression like, "How the hell did you know that?" It was information he and his wife, Anna, hadn't shared with anyone - not even their families - until a few days' prior.

Elementary, my dear Watson. I'm super smart or, at least, super observant and good at connecting dots.

We talked about Taylor then. We talked about how he'd finally worked up the courage to contact her family. We talked about how the Storchs became like family almost as soon as he had contacted them. We talked about Taylor's Gift and what he was doing to help them.

Friday night, Taylor, Jonathan, and Anna's story aired on Denver's 9 News. Just over a year after the day Taylor died and her parents made the decision to save the life of my friend and the lives of 4 other people.

I'm sorry. I can't watch this without crying and I've watched it more than once.

What the Storch Family did, the gifts they gave, even though the grief they felt is unimaginable, is so huge - bigger than anything I think I've ever known.

You might think deciding to donate organs is an easy one for a family. But think about it. It's not so simple. Unless you have a very clear understanding of organ donation and a huge desire to impact the world outside yourself and a loved one who's died a tragic death, many people decline the opportunity because, rather than considering the saving of lives, they think only about keeping their loved one "whole".

For what? To be cremated? To be buried under 6 feet of earth? To benefit no one...especially themselves?

For the Storchs, Taylor lives on as, at least Jonathan, carries on - full of life, doing things he and his wife hadn't dared dream were possible. They lost their daughter at home but she continues to do good in a world that doesn't see a whole lot of it. They continue to do good in her her honor.

Consider organ donation. It's not hard. It's within your reach. Don't let the idea that your body parts aren't any good to anyone be your deciding factor. Let medical personnel make that call.

And, if you are ready to help now, consider living donations...blood, kidneys, bone marrow. All of those donations are possible now without decreasing your quality or quantity of life.

If you're interested, let your family or Bonfils or the Storchs (through know.

Really. The loved ones of the people you save will be forever in your debt.

And, if you're interested in donating to Jonathan's RAGBRAI fundraising efforts, let me know and I'll make sure to put you in touch with the man himself.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Tears flow freely from my eyes as my heart smiles at such a wonderful gift your friend received. God Bless the Storch family.