At the age of nine years old I lost my mother to breast cancer. Losing her especially at such a young age has greatly impacted me and continues to impact me today. My mom was the strongest, most caring woman I know. She continues to inspire me in unexplainable ways. Stories told by both her and my dad illuminated the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation to me. As I grow older I understand the importance more and more. My uncle was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 1998. I understood this but did not know the extent of what that truly meant until I participated in LifeCenter’s 2017 Calendar photoshoot. There, I heard not only my uncle’s story told by my dad, but my mom’s story as well. I learned that both my mom and dad were registered organ, eye and tissue donors. It was then when I learned that my mom was able to donate her corneas. After learning this I fully grasped what it meant to give the gift that keeps on giving; organ, eye and tissue donation. Without a doubt, I knew the decision I wanted to make when it was time for me to become a registered organ, eye, tissue donor. I checked “yes” enthusiastically. I hope to see a day where donation is more prevalent in communities everywhere. It should not take years to receive a lifesaving transplant. I pray to see a day where a 10 year plus waiting list turns into a 10 day or less waiting list.
– Tayler Lee Towles