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Showing posts from December, 2011


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Roxanna Green, mother of Christina -Taylor Green 2012 Donate Life Float Rider

Yahoo News

John and Roxanna Green watch as a floral portrait of their daughter Taylor is unveiled by Bryan Stewart, the Chair of the Donate Life Float Campaign, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at the historic Castle Green in Pasadena, Calif. 
Taylor was Killed during the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabriel Giffords and Roxanne will carry the floral portrait on the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade on, Monday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

The Parade of Life

ESPN | Rick Reilly

How can the murder of a referee in Arkansas bring joy in Pasadena?

How can something that moves at the speed of a funeral procession make hearts race?

How can a parade float with a clock going backward make you feel so good about the future?

This is how:

On the night of April 16, 2010, Arkansas State student Michael (Rudy) Gilmore, just home from working his two jobs, one at Walmart and one refereeing intramurals, was shot in the head in his apartment. Who murdered him is still a mystery.

Who'd want to kill Rudy?

"If you needed a dime, Rudy would give you the whole quarter," says his mother, Jerlene.

Rudy's 17-year-old sister, Kaneisha, was poleaxed with grief. Everybody loved Rudy, but none more than she. Rudy had promised to be her escort for homecoming court this football season. Read more:

Red rose expresses thanks for liver donation

The Orange County Register | Courtney Perkes

For Stephanie McMackin, who will ride on the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade, one red rose among 30,589 flowers will carry special meaning.

McMackin of Fullerton dedicated that bloom in tribute to the dead teenage girl whose liver saved McMackin's life 21 years ago.

She wrote a message attached to the stem that reads, "In honor of my donor family. I can never thank you enough for your gift."

McMackin, 62, a human resources consultant, developed congenital liver disease in 1970, not long after marrying her high school sweetheart, Joe.

She suffered from severe jaundice, oozing sores and pancreatitis. Because transplants were still experimental, she survived with external tubes in her abdomen that had to be irrigated every day.

By 1990, McMackin was so ill that she was added to the transplant waiting list. In May, days before Mother's Day, she received the call to go to UCLA for surgery. Read more:…

Arbutus mother, daughter celebrate gift of kidney donation one year later

Baltimore Sun | Brian Conlin

They're committed to spreading awareness about organ donations

Jamie Conway didn't ask for any presents this Christmas.

The 31-year-old Arbutus resident knows she will never receive a gift better than what her mother, Valerie Eigner, gave her last year.

On Dec. 23, 2010, Eigner, then 59, donated a kidney to her daughter after the lupus she was diagnosed with in 2004 spread to her kidneys.

Before the transplant, Conway had endured dialysis three times a week to combat the disease, which affects 1.5 million Americans, while holding down a full-time job as a graphic designer. Read more:,0,1084674.story

Eureka man's donation gives new life; heart transplant recipient will be in Rose Parade

Times-Standard | Grant Scott-Goforth

San Francisco Fire Capt. Anthony Robinson's new heart came from Danny Durbin, a 39-year-old Eureka youth minister who died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage in May 2010, leaving behind two daughters.

Now Durbin is an inspiration for Robinson.

”I'm blessed to get his gift and include him with anything I do,” Robinson said. “I always mention Danny.”

Come Jan. 2, Robinson will be one of 18 riders on the Donate Life America “One More Day” float at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

The 53-year-old San Francisco firefighter, recovering more than one year after his surgery, now regularly speaks out publicly about the organ donation that saved his life for the California Transplant Donor Network.

”It's an honor to be selected,” Robinson said of the upcoming parade.

Robinson's parade ride comes about a year and a half after he received a new heart from Durbin. Robinson was diagnosed with the heart disease cardiomyopathy about 17 years…

Floating for the Legacy of Life

Hometown Pasadena | Patty Sullivan

While all of the floats in the Rose Parade are remarkable for their beauty and attention to detail, my children and I have a special spot in our heart for this year’s entry from Donate Life and its Los Angeles affiliate, One Legacy. In fact, we personally glued a couple hundred split peas to its left rear clock face. The float, named One More Day, honors the millions of people who are touched by organ, eye and tissue donation, including living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates.

The float includes a dedication garden with thousands of yellow and pink rose vials, one of which bears the name of Daniel Ramirez, Gabe and Sylvie’s dad and a 2008 donor. His generosity in the face of terminal colon cancer is echoed thousands of times in the float’s dedication garden and again in the “floragraph” portraits of deceased individuals whose contributions made and continue to make an immeasurable difference in the lives of their…

Catholic double-lung recipient marches on

Companion blog to The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Diocese of Phoenix.
If you happen to catch some of today’s Fiesta Bowl Parade (in-person, online, or on Channel 15), keep in mind that an Arizona Catholic is marching on–and in the parade–only because someone made the lifesaving decision to donate their organs.

Kathy Sullivan will be one out of 10 balloon handlers for the Donate Life balloon featured in the Fiesta Bowl Parade. This is the second year that Donor Network of Arizona has entered the parade.

The organization released the following information about Sullivan:
Read more:

Donor Families and Recipients Prepare Donate Life Float

The San Fernando Sun | Alex Garcia

The enormous tents across from the Rose Bowl where some of the Roses Parade floats are being decorated are a sea of red roses, blue violets and yellow marigolds as volunteers and designers put the last touches on the flowery contraptions that welcome the New Year in the annual celebration.

This year, the Roses Parade won't take place on Jan. 1, but Monday, Jan. 2.. This is because the organization's rules say that whenever Jan. 1 falls on Sunday, the parade must be pushed to Monday so as not to conflict with religious services.

And for those working on the Donate Life Rose Parade float, many of them organ recipients or donor relatives, this is also a chance to honor those whose organs have helped give life to many others.

Tragedy Turns Into Life- Saving Opportunity

Among this year's volunteers is Arnold Perez and his wife, Eva, as well as Megan Corfee and her mother, Debbie. These families may come from different backgrounds and may not even …

Letters help organ recipients honour the giver and the 'gift'

The Vancouver Sun | Bruce Deachman

OTTAWA — They come in all shapes and sizes, these people, young and old, rich and poor. What they share is a debt of thanks to the organ and tissue donors, and their families, who made it possible for them to live longer and better lives.

Many of them honour that debt by sending a letter to the donor family.

The letters are poignant, raw, heartfelt and honest, and mean a great deal to both writer and reader. And because transplants are, by law, anonymous in Ontario, the recipients' letters are first sent to Trillium Gift of Life Network, the body that oversees organ and tissue donations and transplants in Ontario.

There they are redacted of identifying information before being passed along to the donor families, who may choose to respond via the same route.

This legally forced anonymity protects the privacy of donor families and recipients who may not share similar levels of interest or enthusiasm.

As well, it helps dissuade one side from seeking fina…

Donna family raises awareness on living donors

Central Valley News | Rafael Carranza

The family hopes to encourage other people to become living donors after the daughter gave her mother another chance at life.

When Maricela Garza needed a liver transplant she never thought her then-18-year-old daughter Kathia Martinez would be eager to donate.

Test showed Kathia was a perfect match, but her parents worried about complications.

"Mom was apprehensive about it but I was all for it,” she said. “I even said that day, ‘OK what do you need to do? Blood work? OK, go ahead get my blood’ and the lady was stunned, the nurse was stunned and she said, I think its better you guys go home and talk about it."

So they did, and soon decided to go ahead with transplant. Read more:

Family of pedestrian killed says organ donation brings hope after tragic accident

WISH TV Channel 8, Indianapolis | Debbie Knox

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The father of a young Carmel man said his son's decision to become an organ donor, has made the shock of his death a little easier to take.

Tuesday night, Jason Uhrin and his fiancee, Sydney Campbell, were crossing 82nd Street in front of the Lakeshore Apartments when they were struck by an SUV. Both were taken to St. Vincent Hospital.

Don Uhrin got word that his son had been critically injured when hospital officials contacted him
on his cell phone late Tuesday. He went immediately to his son's bedside in the intensive care unit.

When doctors informed Don and his family that it was highly unlikely Jason would recover from his injuries, Don remembered that his son had chosen to become an organ donor when he had applied for his driver's license.

"I explained to him then, ‘If you ever passed away, you would have an opportunity at the loss of your life to perhaps save other people's lives by letting them…

Kidney donor riding float in Rose Parade

Savage Pacer

Dr. Jim Haemmerle of Savage has made a living out of improving people’s lives through his work in the operating room. But perhaps the biggest impact he’s made was when he was on the operating table himself.

Haemmerle, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic’s branch in Menomonie, Wis., since 1978, donated a kidney to a stranger from rural Minnesota in February 2010. As a result, Haemmerle has been invited to ride Donate Life America’s float during the 123rd Annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 2.

Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of national and state organizations across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. Each year, the group designs a float with a new theme to be displayed in the parade, and the theme of this year’s float is “One More Day.”
Read more: Savage Pacer - Kidney donor riding float in Rose Parade

LOMA LINDA: Hospital team decorates Rose Parade float

Press Enterprise | Loma Linda Medical Center

A team of about 20 patients, family members, staff and volunteers from Loma Linda University Medical Center Transplantation Institute came to Pasadena the week of Dec. 29 to help decorate the 2012 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, which will be showcased at the world famous Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

The float’s theme is “One More Day,” embodying the nation’s most visible campaign to inspire people to save and heal lives as registered organ, eye, and tissue donors. Loma Linda University Medical Center Transplantation Institute is one of the institutions that are sponsoring a rider on the float.

John Orta, 18, of Riverside, is this year’s sponsored float rider. He will take his spot alongside 27 other inspirational float riders from throughout the country. Two years ago, when he was only 16, John donated his kidney to his identical twin brother, Jake, who suffered from kidney disease since birth. Read more:…

Rose Parade float bring solace, community to families of those who donated organs

Whittier Daily News | Ben Baeder

PASADENA - In Wooster, Ohio, college administrator Patrice Smith is living with only one kidney.

Two-thousand-three-hundred miles away, a 26-year-old woman and her family are still trying to figure out why a complete stranger would give away an organ.

"Who does that for people you don't even know?" said Karol Franks, whose daughter, Jenna, received the kidney after her's were destroyed by a rare bladder disease.

"Just talking about it right now, I'm going to start crying again," Franks said.

She was one of hundreds of people involved in this year's Donate Life Rose Parade float. Since 2004, a coalition of organ donation advocacy groups has entered a float in the Rose Parade to remind people about organ donations.

In all, the float will feature images of 72 donors and will have 28 riders who have received organs or tissue. Many of the images, called floragraphs, are meticulously filled in by family members, who use seeds a…

We Remember the Three Men Who Gave Their Lives to Transport a Heart for a Waiting Patient

Air Ambulance Weekly

On this, the final day of 2011, Air Ambulance Weekly would like to pay tribute to three fallen air medical crewmen who tragically lost their lives en route to pick up a heart for a patient’s life-saving transplant.Hoke Smith, a pilot who was a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, founded SK Jets in St. Augustine in 1997. Having learned to fly at the age of 16, he earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross in the Vietnam War, deftly piloting both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft for the U.S. Army. He piloted medical transports “quite often,” and “loved to fly” according to his son, Derrick Smith, the general manager of SK Jets. Far from being just the owner of the company, Hoke was also an active and highly-requested pilot for charter clients.Dr. Luis Bonilla was an extremely knowledgeable, well-respected heart surgeon who divided his contributions to medicine between the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic in…

For this one, everybody gets a hug

Downey Beat | Ben Baeder

I usually don’t hug sources.

But what are you supposed to do when a full-grown man starts to crack because he is talking about his dead teenage son?

Or how about the mother who knows her daughter will die if someone doesn’t come through with a kidney soon?

This was the scene of the Donate Life section of the Rose Parade staging area in Pasadena this week, where dozens of people wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the faces of young people all stood in a big line, clutching flowers and trying to make sure they were in the right place for what has come to be called the Rose Ceremony.

I covered the ceremony Thursday, and I brought my 13-year-old daughter along, partly because I was so busy I needed help, and partly because I wanted her to see something beautiful.

Each year since 2004, a coalition of donor networks have entered a float into the Rose Parade. This year’s float will feature images of 72 people who donated organs or tissue. On top of the float will ride 28 pe…

Lisa’s Legacy -Let her inspire you too


Hello Everyone,
As many of you are aware, the kids and I are in Pasadena to honor Lisa’s legacy in just as an important way, as hospital visitation equality and that is through organ/tissue donation. Of all that happened that horrible night on 2/18/2007, knowing Lisa’s wishes regarding organ donation, was the one decision I took comfort in. For 18 years, Lisa always said her body was just a vessel for her soul and when her soul was done with it, I was to make the best use of her body as I could.

Though I was reeling from over 8 hours of indifferent treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and my failure to comfort Lisa in her last moments, I knew I was carrying out her lifelong desire to continue helping others through organ donation. Fortunately, once Lisa became an organ donor candidate, staff of LAORA (Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency), who were separate staff from Jackson Memorial, created a relaxed, welcoming and peaceful place fo…

UNYTS selects WNY woman for float

WIVB TV | Eli George

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (RELEASE) - Claudia Gerlach from Williamsville, NY is UNYTS’ 2012 sponsored rider in the 123rd Rose Parade.

On Monday, January 2nd the National “Donate Life” Float will debut in Pasadena, California. 1 out of 8 Americans will tune in to watch on New Year’s Day.

On February 2, 2003, Alison Gerlach's life came to a sudden and tragic end. Only seventeen years old and a senior at Williamsville South High School, she was an outstanding athlete and a well loved student.

Ali was struck with a sudden and apparently inexplicable stroke. Four days later, she was diagnosed with Moya Moya disease. This rare disorder, involving blockage of the main arteries and blood vessels to the brain, presently has no known cause or cure. Ali died three days later.

Upon Ali’s death, Claudia and her husband Randy, chose to honor Ali’s memory by contributing her organs to other needy children and adults as a reflection of her unselfish love. Ali lives on because of her gi…

Tucson organ donor will be honored in Rose a Parade

Arizona Republic
TUCSON — A Tucson native whose sudden death gave new life to four people will be honored in next week’s Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

Liz Sutherland died nearly three years ago after slumping over from an unexpected brain aneurysm while on an evening horseback ride in Maui.

Though her tight-knit family members continue to grieve Liz’s death, they can’t help but smile at the notion of her likeness sitting atop a float in the renowned parade, which precedes the 2012 Rose Bowl football game Jan. 2.
Read more:

Local woman invited to join annual Rose Parade

6 ABC | Ali Gorman, RN

PHILADELPHIA - December 30, 2011 (WPVI) -- A local woman was invited to be a part of the Rose Parade as she helps raise awareness about an important health issue.

When the colorful parade makes its way through the streets of Pasadena, California Alexis Sloan of Philadelphia will have a prime vantage point.

Sloan is a heart transplant recipient and will be on the "Give Life" donor awareness float.

PHILADELPHIA - December 30, 2011 (WPVI) -- A local woman was invited to be a part of the Rose Parade as she helps raise awareness about an important health issue.

When the colorful parade makes its way through the streets of Pasadena, California Alexis Sloan of Philadelphia will have a prime vantage point.

Sloan is a heart transplant recipient and will be on the "Give Life" donor awareness float. Read more:

Carmel father donates son's organs following fatal accident

Fox 59 | Ann Keil

Jason Uhrin, 21, died hours after he was hit by an SUV while crossing the street with his fiance who was also hit. Uhrin's father is now donating his son's organs as promised, and he says he is proud.

Indianapolis-A young couple is dead after being hit by an SUV Tuesday night. Days later, one of the families would make the tough decision to take their son off life support, but doing so, they said it would change eight or nine lives forever.

"The pain and the emotion, it comes and goes in waves," said Don Uhrin, 21-year-old Jason Uhrin's father. Read more:,0,5156148.column

H.B. teen who died skateboarding to be honored on Rose Parade float

The Orange County Register | Jaimee Lynn Fletcher

They used oatmeal for his skin, coffee for his hair and dried strawberry flakes for his lips.

Family and friends of Scott Davis spent a full day creating a floragraph for the Donate Life Rose Parade floatthat will pay tribute the 19-year-old who donated his organs three years ago.

"I was really excited that we could honor Scott in that way and bring acknowledgment to donating organs," his mom Mindy Davis said.

Davis, a Mater Dei MVP wrestler, died in June 2008 when he suffered head trauma after a skateboarding accident in Huntington Beach.

His family, friends, and students and teachers from Mater Dei drove up to Pasadena on Dec. 17 to help decorate the float that will feature floral art of Davis and 71 other deceased organ donors from across the United States.

The donors, memorialized through petals, seeds and grains, were chosen to represent the millions who are impacted by organ donation.

The float, titled "One More Day"…

Mom gives kidney to save her tot's life

The Orange County Register | Courtney Perkes

Gaena Song Cho had yet to cradle her newborn baby or give her a name when doctors advised her to start thinking about a funeral.

Her 7-pound daughter was born in March 2008 with a rare condition where neither of her kidneys functioned.

"I hadn't even held her yet or seen her face," Cho said. "I was just floored. We were so devastated."

Cho, 38, and her husband, Arnold, followed the suggestion of their pastor and christened their second child Cherity, which means love. Then they prayed for a miracle.

Two and a half years later, the Chos drove from their Fullerton home to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In one operating room, surgeons opened up Cherity. Next door, they cut into Cho. They removed her left kidney and put it inside Cherity.

For a second time, Cho gave life to her daughter.

Cherity, now 3 ½, is effervescent even while dragging around an IV pole that keeps her kidney hydrated and delivers anti-rejecti…

Transplant Saves Baby Boy From Fatal Liver Disease

CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 3-month-old boy recovering from an often fatal liver disease is home for the first time since birth.

“He was diagnosed with a very rare disease,neonatal hemochromatosis, and speaking to the doctors, there’s been 30 cases in the last 20 years in the U.S.,” said father Hussain Gadit.

Baby Ali Gadit, born on October 3, tested positive right at birth. The red flags were extremely low blood sugar and platelet count. He’s alive today because of an 11th hour organ donation at Mount Sinai Hospital from an anonymous family whose child had a terminal illness.

That one baby might’ve saved five or six others. The Gadits will never know that family, however.

“No, we respect their privacy,” Gadit told CBS 2′s Emily Smith.
Read more:

Alabama organ donor honored in Tournament of Roses parade

WBRC Fox 6, Alabama | Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -An Alabama organ donor will be part of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Carver High School graduate Daniel Brannon was killed in a car crash in 2009, but his organs ended up saving five others' lives.

This weekend his picture will be part of an organ donor float in the Rose Bowl parade.

If you watch FOX6 very much you've probably seen the Alabama Organ Center commercial that tells Brannon's story through his family's memories.

His family now has the chance to tell that story of helping others even in death on a national stage.

Brannon's death in a 2009 car crash helped save five lives because he had made the choice, even at a young age, that he wanted to be an organ donor.

"It's very important to be an organ donor because we have so many people waiting on the transplant list, and people are dying everyday because people don't give," said LaVonda Brannon, Daniel's mom. "So it wasn'…

Father to ride on 'Donate Life' float to honor his son who donated an organ to Rancho Cucamonga woman

Contra Costa Times | Diana Sholley

One float in Monday's Tournament of Roses Parade will stand out with a strong message, especially for 22-year-old organ recipient Megan Corfee of Rancho Cucamonga.

"One More Day," is an entry sponsored by Donate Life, a nonprofit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donations.

Corfee's life was saved in February 1999 when Arnold and Eva Perez of Los Angeles lost their 6-year-old son Hernan in a sledding accident and donated his organs. Four lives were saved, including Corfee's. She was diagnosed with liver disease at 7 and received her transplant at 9.

Arnold Perez is riding on this year's float in honor of his son.

He and his wife staff a Donate Life information table at the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoons.

"I saw how they fought to save (Hernan's) life, but it wasn't meant to be," Arnold Perez said. &qu…

Thanks, Idaho, for agreeing to be donors

Idaho Press Tribune
Finally, a New Year’s resolution that worked!

In past years, the people of Idaho were challenged to make a New Year’s resolution to help save lives and sign up on the Yes Idaho Donor Registry. Well, people listened, they made their resolutions, and phenomenal things happened.

In 2011, The Idaho Donor Registry reached a new level of over 685,000 people who have signed up. Compared to the rest of the nation, Idaho is consistently in the top ten of the highest rates of participation on a donor registry. This says a lot about the giving, caring nature of the citizens of Idaho. Because of these high participation rates, more lives were saved than ever before.

On Monday, two young people from Idaho will be honored on the Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade.

Lacey Haye passed away in 2007 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Lacey had made the decision to be a donor when she first received her driver’s license, and again when she renewed it at age 18.

Drew Swank …

One life saves seven

Columbia Star | Julia Rogers Hook

When 19- year- old Jesse Miller Gamble finished his shift at Terra Restaurant one summer night three years ago, he hopped on his bike and started for his home on Senate Street as he had done many nights before.

But that night was different. That night, while biking over the Blossom Street Bridge, Jesse was struck by a drunk driver and sustained immense injuries. He was taken to the Palmetto Richland Hospital and diagnosed as brain-dead. His body had endured too much to carry on, and Jesse’s brain could no longer carry out its function. Without being on a ventilator, Jesse would die.

In those most heartbreaking moments of her life, Jesse’s mother, Lynn Finley, remembered that he had talked about being an organ donor. Read more:

Girl's final gift honored

The Boston Globe | Kathy Burge

In the hours after Katie Enos was hit by a car, after she was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Boston, after tests showed no signs of life in her brain, her parents were asked a heart-rending question: Did they want to give her heart and other organs to people who needed them?

“When we looked at each other across her bed, we both said yes,’’ remembered Marian Enos, Katie’s mother, at home in Westford recently with her husband, Ed, who works for a Bedford company. “Because he knew that’s something Katie would have done. I knew because she told me.’’

So on a late June day in 2010, people who had long been on waiting lists for organ transplants raced to hospitals to prepare for surgery.
Read more:

Organ donor honored in flowers at Tournament of Roses Parade

Independent Press | Barbara Rybolt

A memorial to Roberto Perez will be seen by millions of viewers around the world on Jan. 2 as they watch the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Roberto was 18 years old when he died 14 years ago. On Saturday, Dec. 10, members of his family gathered with some of the people who received Roberto’s donated organs. They met at the NJ Sharing Network headquarters in New Providence to create a floragraph, or portrait made from flowers and seeds, that will be on the Donate Life float in the annual parade.

Fourteen years ago, all Roberto’s mother Maria Perez knew was that her son was dead and her husband, Carlos, had agreed to donate their 18-year-old son’s organs.

"To be honest, I didn’t agree with him,” Maria said, but after thinking about what her son would have wanted and how it would help others, “an hour later, I agreed with him. He was such a healthy boy.” Read more:

A Place of Honor for Local Organ Donor

Herndon, VA Patch | Leslie Perales

The family of Paul Rossmeissl will travel to Pasadena to see his depiction on the "Donate Life" float, honoring organ donors at the Tournament of Roses Parade.

When Paul Rossmeissl died suddenly following a cycling accident in 2006, his wife, Hedy, and daughter, Rachael Rossmeissl-Stone, struggled to find something positive to hold on to as they worked through their grief.

The answer came from Paul himself – the generosity of spirit that had moved him to become an organ donor. His kidneys and liver gave life to three people, and his bones and tissue assisted several others.

“I think Rachael and I felt like that was the only positive piece we could take out of this,” Hedy Rossmeissl said recently at her Herndon home. “So we got involved.”

Their involvement is with the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC), which not only coordinates organ donation and serves recipients, but also cares for donors and their families.
Read more: http:/…

Ossining Woman to Ride on Tournament of Roses Parade Float

The Examiner

On Jan. 2, while 47 million people across the U.S. watch the televised Tournament of Roses Parade, one northern Westchester resident will watch it up close, from a float, in fact.

Mary Wu, a 29-year-old Ossining resident, has been selected as one of the 28 riders for the Donate Life float.

“I am excited, humbled and honored,” said Wu who described herself as being a blender of emotions since finding out she was selected as one of the riders.

A two-time kidney transplant recipient, Wu received her first transplant at the age of four for chronic kidney failure and then received her second kidney when she was 11 years old.
Read more:

More Than A Thousand Affected By Organ Donations Decorate ‘Donate Life’ Float For Rose Parade


PASADENA (CBS) — Float preparations for the Tournament of Roses Parade are in full bloom. For one special group their float is not just a work of art — it’s a way to honor their loved ones.

The Donate Life Float pays tribute to those who have donated or received organs or tissue.

The whimsical float features “floralgraphs”, portraits of donors etched in flowers, who gave the gift of life.

“My brother, Eddie Arellano, he was 33 years old. He died of a brain aneurysm,” said Anna Arellano, who was helping construct the float. “He was able to give his liver, two kidneys and both of his lungs.”
Arellano was putting the finishing touches on her brother’s floralgraph Wednesday, along with 1,000 other volunteers working on the float. “It brough some comfort to us knowing that he could save other people’s lives,” Arellano said. Read more:

Donate Life Rose Float Decorating - December 17, 2011

Organ & Tissue Donation Blog | Glenn Matsuki

More wonderful pictures from the December 17th day of decorating featuring floragraph families from across the country and Donate Life volunteers who helped to partially complete decorating floragraphs for families unable to be in Pasadena.  This past week, many floragraph events were held across the country in which family members completed their loved one's portrait; many of their stories may be found on the blog.

We look forward to seeing and meeting all of our floragraph families this Friday, December 30th at the Floragraph Brunch - pictures will be posted soon after the event.

Thank you Brooke Hanson of the University of La Verne Marketing Department for taking the photos while I was away.

Donate Life Rose Float - Dedication Garden

CALIFORNIA   In honor of Glenn Matsuki. To my partner Partner In Crime - Keep up your devotion and dedication to the "cause." It's noticed. PIC

TENNESSEE   In honor of Glenn Matsuki, heart recipient. Glenn, your tireless work in the organ donation community deserves utmost admiration! I feel so honored to have met you. In friendship, Sabine Atkins


Helicopter crash victims will be honored in Rose parade

The Florida Times-Union | Beth Cravey

The three men who died Monday in a helicopter crash on their way to pick up a donor heart will be memorialized in roses.

Their sacrifice so saddened staffers at a nonprofit organ procurement agency in Los Angeles that they decided to feature the men as part of their ninth annual float in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday.

“We were obviously very touched by the loss,” said Bryan Stewart, vice president of communications for One Legacy, the organ and tissue recovery organization for the Los Angeles area.


Boca Raton art teacher works to overcome kidney disease and inspire his students

WPTV News Channel 5, Boca Raton | Vince Norman

Transplant is teacher's only hope
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Torrey Green teaches art at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School. He starts every year with the same speech.

"I let the kids know that I'm on dialysis, and that some days are better than others," said Green. "If I'm in a bad mood, or if I'm really tired, it has nothing to do with them, it's because of my illness, and I explain everything about it."

Green said he does it to inform his students, so they won't be shocked to see him on his bad days.

"They see me walking with a cane and want to know why I have a cane sometimes. 'Why do you have that armband on your arm sometimes?' This answers their questions," said Green.

Those bad days are, unfortunately, pretty regular.
Read more:…

Woman whose organs gave new life to 4 will be honored in Rose Parade

Arizona Daily Star | Stephanie Innes

A Tucson native whose sudden death gave new life to four people will be honored in next week's Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

Liz Sutherland died nearly three years ago after slumping over from an unexpected brain aneurysm while on an evening horseback ride in Maui.

Though her tight-knit family members continue to grieve Liz's death, they can't help but smile at the notion of her likeness sitting atop a float in the renowned parade, which precedes the 2012 Rose Bowl football game Jan. 2.

Liz, who was 49 when she died, will be honored on a "Donate Life" float in recognition of her status as an organ donor. She's among 72 people from 31 states, Canada, Japan and Taiwan, many of them children, who will be honored on the float for being organ donors.
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To remember those who perished in Florida tragedy, talk about organ donation

Post Bulletin | Our View

Facts and fiction 

To learn how to become a registered organ donor, or to find information that debunks many of the common myths about organ donation, go online at
Some people might object to using the word "family" to describe any organization that has more than 56,000 employees, but we're going to do it anyway.

The Mayo Clinic family suffered a tragic blow on Monday when a helicopter carrying two members of a heart-transplant team went down in a wooded area in northern Florida. Killed in the crash were cardiac surgeon Dr. Luis Bonilla, procurement technician David Hines, and the helicopter's pilot.

Bonilla had recently transferred from Rochester to Mayo's Jacksonville campus. The accident occurred as the team was on its way to retrieve a heart for a transplant patient.

We join Mayo Clinic in offering our condolences to the families directly affected by this tragedy. We hope that they take some com…

Parents continue legacy of son who died waiting for lung transplant

The Toronto Star | Barbara Turnbull

Marc Quinet and Suzanne Camu will not give up.

Yes, their 14-year-old son and only child, Thomas, died Sept. 4, awaiting his second double lung transplant at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. But Thomas’ life — and death — will not be in vain, his father vows.

“I’m trying to fashion a plan that reflects my burning need to honour my son’s life … and yet address practical issues,” he says in a phone interview from their Ottawa home.

The Star followed Thomas in a series about organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The family relocated to Toronto while waiting for Thomas’ second chance for a lifesaver.

For now, the couple is working on a Thank You Project, writing notes to everyone who reached out, made a donation in Thomas’ name or attended one of the memorial services after his death.
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The Cypress Times

Through fun cakes and an amazing foundation, d'Zrt Cake Studio is reaching out to the public to raise awareness for the importance of organ donations and the impact it can have on a child's future.

This Christmas, Charity Pykles-George of the d'Zrt Cake Studio in La Mesa, donated her confectionary talents to a foundation near and dear to her heart. Icing Smiles is a nonprofit organization that specializes in bringing a little joy to families struggling with children with critical illnesses. They understand that sometimes even a small gesture can create big smiles, which is why they recruit professional bakers from across the globe to whip up celebratory cakes and treats for kids in need. Read more:

'I thought I wasn't going to see my children grow up'

Ottawa Citizen | Bruce Deachman

Everywhere Nancy Neville goes, she carries a letter from the mother of a 12-yearold boy whose lungs have given her a second chance

As Nancy Neville lists the medication she takes, it's difficult not to imagine a cascading avalanche of pills and capsules, as one prescription counters the side-effects of another in an effort to reach some level of normalcy.

In all, she takes 30 or more pills a day, beginning with the immunosuppressants required so her body won't reject the lungs she received nearly four years ago. She takes antibiotics, as well, and medication for acid reflux.

"My medication causes anxiety attacks," she says, "so I take stuff for that. "And depression, so I'm on some uppers for that.

"The anti-rejection drugs are really bad for your bones," she adds, "so I'm on high doses of calcium and a drug called Actonel, which they use for osteoporosis. I'm on a high dose of magnesium, and I take vita…

Benicia man takes lesson to heart, and to Rose Parade

Vallejo Times Herald | Jessica A. York

Riding a rose-covered float next week will be an adventure for Benicia resident Anthony Robinson.

The 53-year-old San Francisco firefighter is a heart transplant survivor, recovering more than a year after his surgery. Now, he regularly speaks out publicly about how the organ donation saved his life for the California Transplant Donor Network.

"It's an honor to be selected," Robinson, a fire investigative services bureau captain, said of the upcoming parade.

Robinson will be one of 18 to ride the Donate Life America "One More Day" float at the Jan. 2 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, which precedes the Rose Bowl Game between Wisconsin and Oregon. Read more:

Eagle Rocker on Dialysis Helps Decorate Rose Parade Float

Eagle Rock Patch | Ajay Singh

Every time Norma Araos volunteers to give Christmas presents to children waiting for organ or tissue transplants in hospitals across Los Angeles, she feels heartbroken.

“They’re so innocent—they just smile,” says Araos, adding: “They don’t know the difference between living healthily and not healthily.”

It’s a painful distinction that Araos, 45, knows only too well. She lost both her kidneys six years ago and has been on dialysis ever since. “We are 112,000 people nationally waiting for a kidney transplant and we die 18 a day—babies and adults,” she says, adding ungrammatically: “In a lot of people, we don’t make it.”

What a Difference a Day Makes

Araos, who works as a community educator about organ donations and transplants, has lived on Fair Park Avenue, near the corner of Eagle Rock Boulevard, for the past 15 years. For her, every day is a blessing that brings her closer to the time when she can expect to receive a donated kidney. Read more: http://eaglero…

Sign an Organ Donor Card, Watch the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2012, and Give Thanks for Priceless Gifts in Perfect Timing

Main Street Media Savvy

When Auburn resident and 25-year BECU executive Shirley Harney Taylor takes her honored place in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2012 as a rider on the Donate Life America Float, she will be among a group of people who feel more keenly than anyone else a special blend of anguish and inspiration. The anguish was having had to face the choice to donate her 16-year-old son Brandons’s organs and tissues when his 16-year-old life had only just begun. The inspiration came soon after when 52 others were given second chances at life, thanks to Brandon’s gifts that fateful August day in 2000.

Shirley has been advocating for the importance of organ and tissue donation for LifeCenter Northwest since, giving an entirely new and inspired purpose to her life and the lives of many others. BECU has given Shirley the grace, schedule flexibility, and support to give back to this cause over the years, creating a bond of employee loyalty that is priceless beyond measure. This kind of…

Heroes honored on Donate Life Float

LifeLine of Ohio | Reg Green

- Guest post by Reg Green, donor father

When Roxanna Green, the mother of Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the Gabby Giffords shooting rampage, takes her honored place in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, she will be among a group of people who feel more keenly than anyone else the special blend of anguish and inspiration that her family bequeathed.

There was no shortage of anguish. She remembers, as in a nightmare, her daughter covered with a sheet and she, beside her, kissing her face and stroking her feet, willing her to live.
A rendering of the 2012 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, "...One More Day."

But, even as she and her husband, John, grappled with the enormity of their loss, they found the strength to make a decision to donate her corneas, restoring the sight of two people for whom there was no other cure. The child, though born on one day of indiscriminate killing, Sept. 11, 2001 and dying on another, gave the nation a…

Donate Life Rose Float to honor helicopter crash victims on organ recovery mission

OneLegacy | Tom Mone, CEO

Today a helicopter carrying three of our colleagues crashed while on an organ recovery mission in Florida.

In their honor, we have dedicated and placed the first three of what will become three thousand roses in the One More Day float’s Memorial garden.
Please take a moment to reflect on our lost colleagues and their survivors at LifeQuest.

Thomas Mone, CEO & EVP, OneLegacy

Bloomsburg Man to Participate in Rose Parade

WNEP TV 16 | Nikki Krize

A man from Bloomsburg who said a tissue donation turned around his life hopes to get a message out to a national audience; a message about the importance of giving the gift of life.

Baseball is a huge part of Joey Ianiero's life. He played in college and hopes to be drafted professionally. In 2008 his dream was almost shattered when he tore some tendons in his knee. His doctor said the best way to recover would be to have a tendon transplant.
"That's what I went for. I told him if that's the best way for me to recover, that's what I want," Ianiero said.

The tissue was donated by a family in Texas who lost their father.
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Solana Beach man forever grateful for organ donation

Del Mar Times | Claire Harlin

He was in his mid-40s, a father of two, a good friend, a wonderful father and husband. That’s almost all Bob Moldenhauer knows about the man who once breathed through the same lungs that he now does. That, and the fact that the man had a loving wife who made a crucial decision during her last moments with him that in turn saved Moldenhauer’s life and maybe the lives others.

“One donor can save upward of eight people’s lives,” said Moldenhauer, a longtime Solana Beach resident who underwent his double lung transplant in 2009 after living for more than 11 years with pulmonary fibrosis. “It’s difficult for me to talk about my donor’s family without tearing up out of sadness for their loss and gratitude for the gift that they gave me. Despite their tragedy and sorrow, they still have this generosity in spirit to think of others in need.”
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2 Mayo Clinic doctors, pilot killed in FL helicopter crash

Associated Press

MIAMI - Three people were killed when a helicopter on its way to retrieve a heart for transplant crashed in northern Florida, leaving the patient to wait for another organ to become available.

The helicopter crashed at 5:53 a.m. Monday, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

Bergen said no flight plan was filed for the helicopter, which was headed to a Gainesville hospital, Shands at the University of Florida.

Clay County Sheriff's Office spokesman Russ Burke told The Florida Times-Union the helicopter originally left the St. Augustine airport.

The helicopter was carrying heart surgeon Dr. Luis Bonilla and procurement technician David Hines of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Sheriff's officials say the name of the pilot has not been released.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Layne Smith said the heart they were to pick up could not be used in another transplant because its viability expired. The patient is back on the waiting list for a new…

Asheville-area nurse who was first to donate a kidney to stranger inspires others to give

The Asheville Citizen-Times | Jason Sandford

FLAT ROCK — Joyce Roush thought she’d served her purpose after becoming the first person in the U.S. to donate a kidney to a stranger.

Her action in 1999 drew national attention, and for a couple of years after, she told and re-told the story.

But after moving to Flat Rock from Indiana about eight years ago, Roush decided the story was one to be kept in the past. She joined Park Ridge Health and continued her career as a nurse.

Still, people remembered. When the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce gave Roush its Athena Award for her life’s work in health care in May, her legacy returned to the spotlight. In November, Roush gave her first public talk on the subject in 10 years.  Read more: