Taylor’s Gift Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to the lifesaving effort of increasing organ donor registrations and financially assisting families touched by organ donation, is pleased to announce Kathy Aulson and Robin Bagwell as the honorees of the 2016 Outlive Yourself Awards presented by Methodist Dallas Transplant Institute.
Kathy Aulson, an ER and ICU nurse who has worked the front line with organ donation for more than 30 years, and Robin Bagwell, a “professional volunteer,” will be recognized for making a lasting difference in their communities and the lives of others at this year’s event, set for Nov. 3 at the Belo Mansion in Dallas.
“Our daughter Taylor lived her life to fullest, impacting the lives of many and leaving a lasting legacy. It is with extreme pride that Todd and I congratulate Kathy and Robin as the 2016 Outlive Yourself honorees. They’re making a difference right now and doing their part to leave their legacy,” said Tara Storch, co-founder, Taylor’s Gift Foundation.
Kathy Aulson considers working with families who have lost a loved one make the decision to donate their organs to be the greatest honor of her career. She has also had the privilege of caring for transplant recipients of all types – heart, lung, kidney and liver – and is a proud member of the team that cared for Dallas’ first heart transplant at Methodist Medical Center. In 2011, Kathy and her husband opened a home health care agency, caring for patients awaiting a transplant or in post-transplant recovery, often in underserved rural locations throughout north Texas.
Kathy was instrumental in forming the nonprofit organization, The Miracle League of Ellis County, which is well on its way to reaching its funding goal to build a ballpark and playground for special needs children. When completed, children of all ages and abilities can play team sports that would otherwise be impossible, raising their self-esteem and giving them an unimaginable boost in self-confidence.
In addition to her career as an ER and ICU nurse, Kathy is also an attorney who has dedicated a large portion of her career working with abused children and their families. She has been successful at bringing together children and their parents, moving them from dysfunctional to functional and thereby enabling children to live out more normal lives in a safe, nurturing environment.
Robin Bagwell has served on multiple boards throughout Dallas including Center for Brain Health, CARE, Nexus Recovery, Dallas Women’s Foundation and The Elisa Project. She has contributed countless hours and resources to New Friends New Life, Highland Park United Methodist Church and Kidney Texas, and has chaired many luncheons and raised a significant amount of money for many thankful organizations.
When Robin’s husband was diagnosed early in life with kidney disease, they both knew a kidney transplant would be a reality in his near future. When the time came, she didn’t even hesitate to sign up to be his living donor. Not once did she think about the repercussions or impact donating a kidney would have on her own life; instead she insisted that she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her husband is alive today because of this gift.
For her 50th birthday, Robin decided to celebrate by providing a free breakfast to the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Center. She said her friends didn’t want to go to another birthday meal event, and she would enjoy doing this a whole lot more. Giving back is a part of the natural spirit of who Robin is as a person.
The 2016 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 a seated dinner and unique silent auction items while celebrating the incredible individuals 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, at 7 p.m. in downtown Dallas atThe Belo Mansion. Individual tickets are available for $250. Tables and sponsorships range from $2,500 – $10,000. For more information about the event and tickets, please visitwww.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.