Dallas, TX, 10/31/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
Shaley and her twin sister Saryn started their sophomore year of high school as new students in San Antonio, where they met Javier Espinosa. The trio spent a lot of time together and soon Javier and Shaley were dating. After high school graduation, they went to colleges in different states. Due to the distance, Javier and Shaley broke up after freshman year. Though no longer dating, they kept in touch because their younger siblings remained friends.
In February of their senior year, Shaley called Javier to wish him a happy birthday and learned he had been sick with mono. Only days after his 22nd birthday, he was admitted to the ICU for acute liver failure. A young and healthy college student, Javier was suddenly given hours to live. He quickly rose to the top of the transplant list.
During his time in the ICU, several family members and friends came to support Javier, including Shaley and Saryn. Semi-unconscious, he only remembered visits from Shaley.
Within three days, Javier received the gift of a perfect liver from an unknown individual who made the decision to outlive themselves. He was out of the hospital two weeks later and made a speedy and full recovery. Javier returned to school after spring break to finish his last semester as an advertising and film major at Southern Methodist University, graduating with honors.
Javier’s liver transplant and full recovery reunited the young couple and made the high school sweethearts realize that they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together. This gift gave Javier a second chance at life – a life he has chosen to continually celebrate to share how immensely appreciative he is for the gift he received. After graduation, he went on to start a company, garner medals in cycling at the U.S. and World Transplant Games, marry his high school sweetheart and start a family of his own.
Javier and Shaley were invited to the inaugural Outlive Yourself Awards in 2015 and have been involved with Taylor’s Gift ever since. Javier, Shaley, Saryn and her husband Jonathan are involved with Taylor’s Gift as a way to say thank you and support organ donor families while raising organ donation awareness so that others can have a second chance at life.
“Taylor’s Gift is the only organization I know of that focuses solely on the donor families. It is truly amazing that the families of those who have recently made the decision to outlive themselves are able to see the bright side of extending life through organ donation,” says Javier, co-chair of the 2016 Outlive Yourself Awards.
“It’s not often that organ donation is discussed at cocktail parties, holiday dinners or even amongst close friends. But it is shocking to think about how many people who are faced with the urgent need of an organ donation. It is so unpredictable and can happen to anyone at any time. It is an honor to join the nonprofit that is leading the conversation of organ donation.”
The Second Annual Outlive Yourself Awards presented by Methodist Dallas Transplant Institute, co-chaired by Saryn Dietz, Jonathan Dietz, Shaley Espinosa and Javier Espinosa, will benefit the mission of Taylor’s Gift – providing financial assistance to families who have given the gift of life. Guests are invited to enjoy dinner, drinks and unique silent auction items while celebrating honorees Kathy Aulson and Robin Bagwell, who have made an extraordinary impact in their community and truly embody the “Outlive Yourself” spirit by giving back to others.
This year’s event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at The Belo Mansion, located at 2101 Ross Ave., Dallas, Texas 75201. George Dunham, co-host of the Morning Musers on 1310 Sports Radio The Ticket, is the event’s master of ceremonies. Individual tickets begin at $250 and tables range from $2,500 – $10,000. For more information about the event and tickets, please visit www.TaylorsGift.org.
Since its inception in 2010, Taylor’s Gift is on a mission to encourage supporters to “Outlive Yourself.” What does it mean to “Outlive Yourself”? It’s a spirit of giving and a mindset of going above and beyond for others and living selflessly. Taylor’s Gift encourages individuals to register as organ donors as one way to Outlive Yourself.
About Taylor’s Gift Foundation
Taylor’s Gift Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2010, with a mission to “Regift Life, Renew Health and Restore Families” by increasing official organ donor registries. The Foundation provides scholarships to graduating seniors and has Legacy Gift grants to help families touched by organ donation who are faced with financial difficulties. For more information, visit www.TaylorsGift.org. Follow the Foundation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TaylorsGift and Twitter: https://twitter.com/taylorsgift.
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