By Samantha Moon, Intern at Taylor’s Gift Foundation
After frequent heart attacks and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, former Vice President Dick Cheney was listed as a candidate for a heart transplant. In March of 2012, after waiting on the list for over 20 months, Cheney received a heart from an anonymous donor. Today, almost two years later, he is healthy and happy at 72 years young.
As the founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs inserted himself into the lives of millions through innovative technology (to be honest, I don’t know what I’d do without my iPhone!) and became a household name. After battling pancreatic cancer, Jobs underwent a successful liver transplant in 2009. In October of 2011, Steve Jobs passed away due to complications from the cancer. His life, prolonged by the generosity of the anonymous liver donor, has gained him a spot amongst the most creative visionaries of our time.
Perhaps you may not have heard of Kelly Perkins, who underwent a heart transplant following congestive heart failure in 1995. But her story is one that you will never forget. After her self-proclaimed life-altering experience, she wanted to move mountains… and did! Perkins has scaled mountains all over the globe, including Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa – and Mount Fuji, an incredible feat for a heart recipient. Her mission is to spread her message of hope and raise awareness for organ donation. Perkins also authored a memoir, The Climb of My Life, recounting her story.
Making Your Mark
These extraordinary individuals prove that organ donation not only saves lives, but can give someone the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on the world. They also teach a powerful lesson to us all: however you choose to make your mark – whether it’s through politics, entrepreneurship, donating to charity, or telling your friends and family about Taylor’s Gift – is ultimately up to you.
How will you use your special gifts and talents and “Outlive Yourself”?