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Woman organ recipient raises awareness, shares story of survival and gratitude

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — August is National Minority Donor Awareness month, and the Indiana Donor Network is continuing its mission to raise awareness and help dispel myths associated with organ donations.

The need for organ donations impact people across the board, but minorities make up 60 percent of people on the national organ transplant list. but they are least likely to be organ donors. One woman is is alive today and is sharing her story for survival and gratitude.

When you’re in a life or death situation, there’s often no question. You’ll choose life. That’s what kept Jamie Taylor focused.

“I didn’t know much about transplants, you know, so I had to get educated on transplants,” Taylor said.

In 2012, doctors diagnosed her with kidney failure. Weeks later, she was forced on dialysis for five hours a day, three times a week.

“Along with having a full-time job, so it was kind of rough. It was rough, but I did it because I had to do it. It was a life or death situation.”

Four years later, the gift she’d been waiting on arrived, and one she’ll forever be grateful for.

“I never gave up the wait. I knew one day it was going to be my day,” Taylor said.

Indiana Donor Network representative Elliott Stubblefield says right now there are over 100,000 people waiting for life-saving organ, eye, and tissue transplants. Kidneys transplants are the most needed.

“It’s really a sense of urgency that we get involved in that process, and it is a sense of urgency for us that we inform people of what it is and what it’s not,” Taylor said.

The Indiana Donor Network is considered an industry leader, able to provide on-site services for families with expansion plans already in the works.

“The ability to have on-site recovery to the magnitude that we do has really been able to save lives, and increase the opportunity for people to receive vital organs,” Stubblefield said.

Taylor says she keeps in touch with her donor family, and says they’ll always hold a special place in her life.

According to the Indiana Donor Network, one donor has the ability to save more than 80 lives.