LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dozens of Southern California organ, eye and tissue transplant recipients, living donors and deceased donor families joined local elected officials yesterday for the unveiling of the 2018 Donate Life Rose Parade® Float. This year’s float entry, The Gift of Time, celebrates the power of kindness and the generous acts of people throughout the world who have made a positive difference in the lives of others by becoming an organ, eye or tissue donor.
Present at the float unveiling were local riders and walkers, including Peggy Averitt, a liver recipient who has been a OneLegacy Ambassador since early 2014, just eight months after her liver transplant, as well as Elaine Jones, a two-time living donor, who helped save the lives of her uncle and an infant girl she didn’t know. Also in attendance were the families of many donors, including the family of former NFL player Konrad Rueland, whose donated heart and kidney gave a second change of life to baseball legend Rod Carew, who himself will be among those riding on the float in Pasadena on January 1. Reuland will be represented on the float through one of 44 floragraphs honoring the generous act of donors.
As part of the float unveiling, the local officials joined with others in placing dedicated roses on the float. Many of these roses were accompanied by dedication tags on which personal messages were written, honoring those who have given the gift of life, received the gift of life, or are waiting to receive the gift of life through transplantation.
Celebrating its 15th year of participating in the parade, the Tournament of Roses Donate Life Parade Float is the centerpiece of a national effort to reach a broad audience with the simple, life-giving message that organ, eye and tissue donation saves and heals lives. A single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue.
“We are grateful to partner with local cities and elected officials to raise awareness of the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation in our service area,” said Tom Mone, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “Nationally there are over 116,000 people waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney or pancreas transplant; but there are simply not enough donors to meet the growing need. It is our hope that our float calls attention to this message and motivates individuals from around the world to register to be a donor.”
The Donate Life Rose Parade Float is produced by OneLegacy and is made possible thanks to over 50 sponsoring donation, transplant, healthcare and family care organizations, and individuals who help make donation and transplant possible across the country.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at 800-786-4077, or visit onelegacy.org.
About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life, and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries; developing and executing effective multi-media donor education programs; and motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors. Register today by visiting DonateLife.net.
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