Minneapolis Police Officer to Honor Daughter’s Life During the Rose Bowl Parade
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A Minneapolis Police Department officer will honor the life of her daughter and thousands of others who gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation as one of 30 people riding a special float in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
“donations make good things happen out of unimaginable tragedies.”
Officer Catherine Casey, mother of tissue donor Deanna Casey, will ride the Donate Life float in honor of tissue donors worldwide. Catherine’s trip to Pasadena is sponsored by RTI Donor Services, which is one of more than 60 associations across the nation—including organ and tissue recovery organizations, industry partners, transplant centers and transplant recipient groups—supporting the float project. This is RTI’s eighth consecutive year supporting the program.
Catherine lost her daughter Deanna at the age of 16 in a car accident as a result of an impaired driver. According to Catherine, at the time Deanna received her driver’s license a fateful mother-daughter conversation took place where they talked about donation. They both agreed that donation was the right thing to do. When Catherine received the heart wrenching call feared by every parent, she immediately thought of donation. As an MPD officer, Catherine had a familiar understanding of the tragic situation, having witnessed such events first-hand. Upon learning that tissue donation was still an opportunity, the Casey family said yes.
Catherine was introduced to American Donor Services, the group who nominated her to ride the float, when they recovered Deanna’s tissue. American Donor Services is a not-for-profit organization whose fundamental objective is to provide the opportunity of donation to individuals who have designated themselves as a donor and families who have the inclination and the potential to have their loved one become a tissue donor. American Donor Services works together with RTI Donor Services, an affiliate of RTI Biologics, who then prepared 67 transplantable grafts from Deanna’s gift, helping to restore mobility and improve patient’s lives.
Organ and tissue donation is an incredible gift that saves and heals. “Deanna’s spirit continues to touch many lives, just as her smile did, and that lives on forever in our hearts,” Catherine said. She believes that “donations make good things happen out of unimaginable tragedies.” Deanna’s family is forever grateful that they could and did donate Deanna’s tissues. Catherine is committed to working to educate the young and old about organ and tissue donation.
She feels honored to ride in this year’s parade and takes heart in the fact that Deanna, “one little girl,” has touched the lives of so many.
The Donate Life float recognizes the thousands of people who give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation each year. The float, one of 90 parade floats and units in this year’s “Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories,” themed parade, will present the theme “Seize the Day” as its colorful kites will represent donor families, living donors and transplant recipients making new memories through a precious moment.
The 122nd Rose Parade will take place at 8 a.m. PST on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. For more information on the “Seize the Day” float, visit the official website at www.donatelifefloat.org.
Today, more than 108,000 children and adults await life-saving organ transplants in the United States. Hundreds of thousands more are in need of a tissue transplant to save or greatly enhance the quality of their lives. Visit www.donatelife.net/CommitToDonation to find out how to designate your donation wishes in your state.
RTI Donor Services is a not-for-profit, American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accre