Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Book Review: Taylor's Gift by Todd and Tara Storch

Title: Taylor's Gift
Authors: Todd and Tara Storch with Jennifer  Schuchmann
Publisher: Revell

About the book: It was the last run of their first day on the slopes, the beginning of another great family vacation for Todd and Tara Storch and their three children.  But when thirteen-year-old Taylor's life was tragically cut short in a skiing accident, the Storches were overcome by the devastating loss of their daughter.  Still in shock, they were asked a question no parents ever think they will hear:  "Would you be willing to donate Taylor's organs?"

Their answer would change their family's lives forever and provide comfort during their darkest moments.  It would also save the lives of five desperate people anxiously waiting for a heart, a liver, a cornea, a pancreas, and a kidney.

Taylor's death could have destroyed the Storches -- and in some ways it almost did.  Instead, her gift of life brought them strength, knowing her heart was continuing to beat.  Taylor's Gift is more than Taylor's story, or even Todd and Tara's story.  It's the story of a nurse who can now be an active mom and fully present for her kids, a cowboy who now has the strength and ability to give back to the community, a biker who can now give of himself completely, and a teenager who can now see her future for the first time.

It's a story of finding strength in God and creating good even in the darkest times.  It's a story of hope.

Through the Gift of Organ Donation, Tragic Death of 13-Year-Old Taylor Storch Brings Life & Hope

“The prayer of this book is this: may good continue to happen. May this story bring hope to anyone who has suffered tragedy. There is life after loss. It comes after a monsoon of tears. But it comes.”
- Max Lucado

On what was supposed to be the family trip of a lifetime, thirteen-year-old Taylor Storch's life was tragically cut short after a horrific ski accident two years ago. As Taylor lay unresponsive in the ICU, Todd and Tara clung to any shred of hope that they would see their daughter smile again. Devastated and still in shock about the accident, they were asked a question no parents think they will ever hear: “Would you be willing to donate Taylor’s organs?”

Their answer would change their family’s lives forever and provide hope during their darkest moments. It would also save the lives of five desperate people anxiously waiting for a new heart, a new liver, new corneas and a new kidney.

Now Todd and Tara Storch, with New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Schuchmann, share their heartbreaking, yet inspirational story, shining a light for those enduring their own ocean of grief. Todd and Tara share the ugly side of their grief. Todd’s impulse to bury himself in work and even worse, to just leave. Tara's inability to come out of the fog of grief for months. Taylor’s death could have destroyed them. Instead, her gift of life brought them hope, knowing her heart had never stopped beating.

Taylor’s Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope is more than Taylor’s story or even Todd and Tara’s story. It’s the story of a cowboy who has the strength and ability to give back to the community; a nurse who can be an active mom and fully present for her kids; a biker who can give himself completely; and a teenager who can see her future for the first time. It’s the story of finding strength in God and creating good even in the darkest times.

It’s a story of hope.

“The greatest gift we’ve received on this journey didn’t come from Taylor,” writes Todd and Tara. “It came from God. Her death is not the end of her story. God is sovereign, and he is still writing.”

After discovering their home state of Texas had the second lowest organ donation registration rate, Todd and Tara created the Taylor’s Gift Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising organ donation awareness. The Foundation gave them a way to celebrate Taylor’s life and to use their story to encourage others to register to be an organ donor. In less than two years, they have spoken to thousands of people across the country have helped contribute more than two million registered organ donors in Texas and over 12 million nationally.

Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

My thoughts:  Taylor's Gift is an amazing story about a beautiful girl and the unselfish response that her grieving family gave when asked if they would donate her organs.  Through the book, you learn how caring Taylor was for her family and friends, even though she was only 13 when she was killed.  There were times while reading the book that I could hardly see the words through my tears.  But this isn't just a tear jerker.  There were also times when I was amazed at how God was working through the tragedy to bring hope to so many people. How God kept His presence known in so many ways and let them know His purpose behind Taylor's death. 

The Storches struggled with their grief. They got angry with God. Tara withdrew to her room for months while Todd had to stay full of activity.  But through it all they came together to create Taylor's Gift Foundation .  This is an organization working to inform people about the huge need for organ donation.  While a story like this has to touch everyone on some level, I love that -- as it says above -- it is a story of hope.  That even in the darkest of times, you can find strength in God. 

Loved it.

~I received a complimentary copy of Taylor's Gift from Revell in exchange for my unbiased review.~

© Frank Marott, Pixels–Coppell, TX
About the Authors: Todd Storch is a successful consultant, public speaker and community leader. After the death of his daughter, he began to pursue his new God-given mission to promote organ donation. Todd is cofounder and president of Taylor’s Gift Foundation, where he and his wife, Tara, work tirelessly to help those who have been touched by organ donation. Todd is honored to lead the foundation that has helped contribute to the registration of millions of new organ donors and is still changing the conversation about organ donation.

Tara Storch is first and foremost a mom, but she is also a sales and marketing professional, is active in her church, and is a community leader. Along with her husband, Todd, she cofounded Taylor’s Gift Foundation. She leads the marketing
 efforts of the foundation with the mission to “increase organ donation to Regift Life, Renew Health and Restore Families.” She loves helping others recognize the beautiful gift we all have within.

Todd and Tara have shared their story on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and other national media. They are the parents of Taylor, Ryan, and Peyton and have made their home in Texas.

Jennifer Schuchmann specializes in collaborations with celebrities and newsmakers. Among her many books, she is coauthor with Kurt and Brenda Warner of the New York Times bestselling First Things First; with Dan Woolley of Unshaken, the only book written by a survivor of the Haiti earthquake; and with Jim Cymbala of Spirit Rising.

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