February 11th, 2011, I will forever remember as the day I lost my little brother, Taylor. The morning of Taylor’s death I didn’t say good bye. That afternoon, he went to play basketball at a local recreation center. Soon after, my mom told me that Taylor had passed out while playing basketball. A few hours later, my cousin was the one to share the news that Taylor had died.
He was my best friend and confidant. People would always call us twins because we were so similar. I couldn’t believe he was gone. Even though it was very sad and hard to lose my brother, something very positive came out of this experience. My family was able to donate Taylor’s tissues and corneas. To be able to hear from some of his recipients has filled me with so much pride in knowing that he’s impacting other people’s lives in such a positive way.
Recently I got to work with Donato’s owner Jane Grote-Abell on the television show ‘Undercover Boss.’ During this experience, I told her about Taylor, and explained why I wear my green Donate Life bracelet. As a result, Jane told me she wanted to share the Donate Life message in her stores and collect donations in Taylor’s honor. I was so grateful for the chance to continue to share Taylor’s legacy. I always fear people will forget about him over time, but knowing his story and impact have been shared through this partnership makes me proud.
Organ and tissue donation is an important issue and unfortunately it’s something that doesn’t get enough attention. I am very proud and thankful to be able to share Taylor’s story while encouraging others to donate. Because of this self-less gift, he will never be forgotten.
-Kanisha Dumas, Sister of Taylor Dumas, Tissue Donor