Volunteer Spotlight: Sonia Taylor-Sewell, cornea recipient

Our volunteers play a critical role in communicating Donate Life messages. From time to time, we will spotlight our wonderful volunteers and share their stories of second chances, hope and healing. We hope you are encouraged by these special people. We certainly are.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sonia Taylor-Sewell

Sonia Taylor-Sewell knows the impact donation and transplantation can make, both as a recipient and a donor family member.  In 1992, after years of decreasing vision due to keratoconus, a corneal abnormality, she received a cornea transplant in her right. It wasn’t until years later when she realized the true impact donation had on her and her family.

Fifteen years later, in 2007, Sonia’s nephew died in a tragic accident. Upon his death, it was discovered he had made the decision to become and organ donor and his family honored his wishes.

“Jordan, who was always a giving person, was still giving even after his death. It touched my heart so much that I wanted to continue his strength and the best way to do so was to become a volunteer with The Living Legacy Foundation,” said Sonia about reasons for volunteering.  “I must say, being a recipient did not have the same profound effect on me as did Jordan being an organ donor.”

Sonia joined Living Legacy Foundation’s Donor Awareness Team shortly after Jordan’s death and has since taken joy in being able to share not only her personal story about transplantation, but Jordan’s story with others too.

At the African-American Festival in Towson this past summer, she addressed many of the myths surrounding donation with those who came by the booth. One woman, after hearing Sonia’s story and the number of lives touched by her nephew’s life, reconsidered her thoughts about donation. “I told her it would be the greatest gift she could give,” remembers Sonia.

“Volunteering with The Living Legacy Foundation has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  I’ve had the opportunity to not only share my story, but also hear some remarkable ones as well,” Sonia adds.

The impact of donation reaches far beyond just the recipient and his or her family. Many donor families find comfort in knowing their loved one lives on through the lives of their recipients.  “I’m honored that God has lead me to The Living Legacy Foundation. It has been a blessing for me and my family. We know that Jordan lives on in others!”

Interested in becoming a volunteer with The Living Legacy Foundation?  Contact Latrice Price at lprice@thellf.org or 410-242-7000 x2037 for more information.

***Editor’s note*** If you haven’t sent in your RSVP for the Volunteer Luncheon on January 30th, there is still time. There is some big volunteer news being announced that you won’t want to miss!!

-Jennifer

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Gelman is the director of Communications for the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland. She is responsible for creating and executing educational and awareness programs for LLF’s donor service area, along with overseeing the company’s volunteer program, and the relationship with Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration. With nearly ten years of experience in non-profit and cause-related marketing, on a national and local level, Jennifer is focused on raising awareness and creating an open dialogue about organ, eye and tissue donation throughout diverse communities the organization serves. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jennifergelman
This entry was posted in Donor Families, Transplant Recipients, Volunteers. Bookmark the permalink.

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