Teenager's Death Leads to Life

Decision to donate daughter's organs puts parents on new mission

By Deborah Ferguson
|  Monday, Jun 7, 2010  |  Updated 12:17 AM CDT
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Taylor Storch's Death Leads to Life

Taylor Storch, 13, died in a skiing accident in Colorado in March.

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Taylor Storch's Death Leads to Life

The decision to donate the girl's organs have put her parents on a new mission.
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A spring break trip took a devastating turn for a family in Coppell, but what happened after allowed a 13-year-old girl to live out her desire to help people.

Thirteen-year-old Taylor Storch was killed in a skiing accident in Colorado in March.

"They asked us if we would consider Taylor being an organ donor, and we looked at each other and said, 'Absolutely,'" said her mother, Tara Storch. "It was a real easy decision for us because she was a giving person. It was part of who she was."

"We're definitely proud that through all this horrible situation, there is something that can live on and help others," said her father, Todd Storch.

The girl's parents said their daughter's organs went on to help five people. A 39-year-old mother got the teenager's heart.  A 1-year-old got her liver. Another child got her kidney. A 19-year-old man now has sight with her cornea. And her kidney and pancreas went to a man her parents will meet at the end of June.

"It's a man who was on his last days," Tara Storch said.  "He was doing six-day-a-week dialysis, horrible diabetes. And with her kidney and pancreas, he has new life."

The Storches decided their daughter's story couldn't end. They started Taylor's Gift, a foundation focused on promoting organ donation, especially among youth and families. Todd Storch quit his executive-level job to run the foundation full-time.

"Our main goal is to increase organ donation in Texas," he said. "Just like people prepare for college, wills, all kinds of things you prepare for, we would like families to know this should be part of it as well."

Along with helping people, Taylor Storch also wanted to be on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and wrote a poem about it.

"She really liked that show, mainly because it made me laugh," her mother said. "She loved seeing me laugh."

After the teenager's death, a friend's father launched a Facebook campaign to get Taylor on the show. More than 3,000 have joined. The Storches think an appearance on "Ellen" would help spread the message of organ donation.

"We have a reason to let the nation know organ donation is extremely important and needed, and we need the laughter right now in our life," Tara Storch said.

Her parents' hurt is there 24/7 and so is the pride in their daughter. Taylor's Gift is their way to honor her life.

"God closed this big door in our life, but he started opening a ton of windows for us to honor her," Tara Storch said.

"There's so much good that can come from this," Todd Storch said. "It's hard to reconcile. She made us so proud of her time here, and she's doing that still."

More: Taylor's Gift, Get Taylor Storch on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"

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