Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taylor's Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope by Todd Storch, Tara Storch

5 of 5 stars *****

One of the saddest and most uplifting books to ever cross this reader's eyes. Jennifer Schuchmann collaborates with Todd and Tara Storch, parents of Taylor Storch, the 13 year-old exuberant youth who dies in a skiing accident right before her father's and brother's eyes. The sudden shock and the worst scenario imaginable for a young, loving family is written with the depths of pain carved by sorrow from the Storch's recall, who viscerally touch Schuchmann so that she pens the agony and, later, the recovery with eloquent passages that leave a profound impression in those who read their story.

The book's revelation covers a remarkable strength from a support system that includes family, medical professionals, community leaders, friends, and clergy. The faith challenges for Todd and Tara Storch involve their roles as adults, spouses, parents, and, ultimately, their relationship with God. What seems impossible and too much for one individual turns into the divine test that saves their union through unconditional love. The last sentence over-simplifies that feat. Understanding and accepting how each person grieves differently and resolves that grief through God's unconditional love proves to be the message that glorifies God while mending a hopeless, drowning depression from which people, naturally, want to flee.

The spirit of Taylor Storch lives in everyone's memories but also in the other significant aspect of this story, organ donation. At the worst of times, Todd and Tara Storch are asked if they want to donate Taylor's organs. Compassion for the wishes of their daughter lead Todd and Tara to make the tough decision, to have Taylor's organs harvested before she is removed from life support. This chosen path God intends results in the Storch's new life and healing. Taylor's Gift Foundation extends across the United States and the world via the internet and is responsible for an increase in organ donation that affects so many in need of such a life-giving gift.