Last week, Nevada Donor Network announced its partnership with Taylor's Gift Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families of organ, eye, and tissue donors, for a grief support program called "Kindred Hearts". This program is designed for donor families and provide them with access to support groups and Caring Guides virtually and in-person.
"Our goal with the Kindred Hearts program is to fill in a gap for families of organ, eye and tissue donors when it comes to emotional support," said Tara Storch, co-founder of Taylor's Gift Foundation. "We want to step into that space, providing donor families with caring support and also the ability to connect with people who have experienced similar emotional pain and trauma. We don’t want financial constraints to ever be a reason that a donor family isn’t able to get the emotional support they need, so all of our services have no fees.”
Twelve years ago, Storch and her husband, Todd, were searching for similar emotional support when they lost their oldest child, Taylor, in a tragic skiing accident. Taylor went on to become an organ donor, saving and improving the lives of five people. While this fact brought comfort to the Storches, it also surfaced many other emotions they weren't equipped to handle. Their own personal experience motivated them to create their nonprofit organization, Taylor’s Gift Foundation, and subsequently, the Kindred Hearts Program.
Dr. Macey Levan, Associate Professor of Surgery and Population Health for NYU Lagone Health and the Director of the Center for Surgical and Transplant Applied Research Qualitative Core, has been working with Taylor's Gift Foundation on the Kindred Hearts Program. Currently, she and her team are working on a pilot program and research study surrounding the program.
Donor families learn about the Kindred Hearts Program through social media, family, friends, medical professionals, and Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) like Nevada Donor Network.