After daughter's gift, mom works to grow organ donor network

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on April 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 1 at 8:26 AM

DALLAS — It was the heartbeat heard by millions. Tara Storch held back her tears and pressed the stethoscope up to Patricia Winters' chest.

"It's so strong," Storch said. "She is strong."

The gift of life in Winters' chest came from Tara Storch's daughter.

Thirteen-year-old Taylor died in a skiing accident in Colorado. Two years ago, Todd and Tara Storch traveled to Phoenix to hear their daughter's transplanted heart, living on.

The journey since then has been to help more than just the recipients of their daughter's donated organs.

North Texan and Olympic champion Carly Patterson joined their mission as the new spokesperson for the Taylor's Gift Foundation.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for organs in the United States, and 18 people each day will die because they didn't get one.

Taylor's Gift hopes to change that, and according to Storch, they are making impressive headway.

Through Taylor's Gift Foundation, 1.6 million organ donors have registered since Taylor's death.

But Storch isn't finished.

"We have a Taylor's Gift challenge coming up, and we are trying to register one million new organ donors in the State of Texas," Tara Storch said. "When we first started, Texas was at 600,000. Within 18 months of of the foundation, we have registered up to 2.4 million."

She encourages others to go to TaylorsGift.org and register themselves.

"This is not about death, it's about life," Storch said. "That's what organ donation is."

Volunteers from the Southwest Transplant Alliance, who had all been organ or tissue donation recipients, answered a phone bank Monday afternoon on WFAA.

In an hour-and-a-half, 1,250 new donors called to register their names with the program.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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