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Wisconsin family takes part in Rose Parade

Channel 3000
Parade float serves as memorial to organ, tissue donors



A Mukwonago, Wis., family, is participating in the Rose Parade in honor of a family member who died but helped others by being an organ donor.

The Rose Parade started in the late 1800s as a way to showcase Pasadena's charm, and 124 years later, the goal is the same. But the floats, the route and the audience are bigger.

Caitlyn Persinger and her family flew to Pasadena on Saturday and will stay through Tuesday, when she rides in the annual Rose Parade.

"It's going to be a long process and we're going to be working pretty much all through the night," Persinger said, while working on floats for the parade.

Five years ago, her brother, Chris, was killed in a car crash. His decision to be an organ donor helped 64 people, including Caitlyn.

"I got to receive his final tissue, and I get to play sports because of him and have him with me and it's awesome," said Persinger, who tore her ACL playin…

Family of San Bernardino homicide victim help with Rose Parade float for organ donor organization

Pasadena Star News | Melissa Pinion-Whitt


Photo: Relatives of San Bernardino homicide victim Steven Guzman work on the Donate Life float for the Rose Parade in Pasadena on Saturday. Guzman was killed in January and his organs were donated to save two children and a woman. In the photo are Guzman s brothers Vincent, middle, Eddie, right, and cousin Adrian Pina, left. (Courtesy photo)

Christina Camarena Guzman and her family left San Bernardino four months after her 15-year-old son was killed in a drive-by shooting.

The Guzman family revisited its past on Saturday, not in San Bernardino, but in Pasadena where they helped build a Rose Parade float. The Donate Life float, themed "Journeys of the Heart," is dedicated to the slain teen and other people whose organs and tissue were donated to save lives.

"I was really happy to be there," Christina Guzman said.

Steven Guzman was walking with friends in the 1500 block of North Belle Street on Jan. 28 when someone in a passing ca…

The greatest gift you can give doesn't cost a dime- Resolve to be an organ donor

The Examiner


This is the time of year when most of us are putting away our holiday gifts, spending money from our gift cards, and re-assessing the gifts that we have given others. Yet the most valuable gift you can give is one that doesn't cost any money- the gift of donating one's organs after death.

Most of us don't even think about this question unless we are at the Department of Motor Vehicles, filling out our application for a renewal of our driver's license, and we are asked to check the box if we want to be an organ donor. LifeSource is the non-profit organization that coordinates organ donations for the upper midwest, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of Wisconsin. http://www.life-source.org/about/ Here are a few things that they want all of us to know:

The first priority of medical staff is always to save your life. Only after a person is declared deceased is the topic of organ donation discussed. If you check the box on your driver's …

When Lindsey's daughter died, her organs saved FOUR lives. And if the pain grows too great, one remarkable letter lifts her despair-UK

The Daily Mail | Thea Jourdan
Just before Christmas, the Mail told the story of 20-year-old Will Pope, who has only weeks to live unless a donor heart is found.

It highlighted the UK’s desperate organ shortage.

Here one mother tells how her young daughter’s decision to be a donor transformed the lives of four people...


Photo: Jason Bye. 'I know everyone thinks their children are perfect, but Jessica really was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside,' said Lindsey Adderson. Jessica was killed in a car crash at the age of 17

At the bottom of Lindsey Adderson’s handbag sits a slightly tattered, beautiful card.

She has carried it around with her ever since she received it — more than four years ago — and whenever she feels that her grief for her daughter is beginning to overwhelm her, she reads it again.

The card is from the mother of a little girl who, at the age of two, received a new liver — donated by Lindsey’s daughter after her tragic death in a car crash.

It reads:…

Donate Life Rose Float Judging - December 31, 2013

Organ & Tissue Donation Blog | Tom Mone
The judging of the Donate Life Rose Float Taking place right NOW!



{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}
Photo credit:  Tom Mone, Dave Hollon

2 stories of hope in an otherwise bleak time in Connecticut

New Haven Register | JOE AMARANTE
At the start of 2012, Colby Salerno of Cheshire was in Hartford Hospital waiting for a new heart. Joe Sansoe of North Branford was wasting away with end-stage liver disease that eventually would put him in Yale-New Haven Hospital for much of the year.

And on New Year’s Day 2013? Salerno’s new heart is beating strong as he begins his first day of graduate school in Pittsburgh, after a hero’s welcome home to his Cheshire neighborhood in June amid an awe-inspiring recovery. Sansone continues his recuperation after the father of his daughter’s friend donated part of his own liver to save Sansone’s life.Read more

Two-time kidney recipient to be featured in Rose parade

The Buffalo News | Karen Robinson
Amy Nash, of Clarence, with her husband, Jerry, and son, Nicholas Colombo, 16, is a double kidney transplant recipient and will be riding in the annual Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day. Charles Lewis / Buffalo News
Since she was a child, Amy Nash has loved to watch the Rose Parade on television on New Year’s Day.

But this year, the 50-year-old Clarence woman will get to appear in the parade – riding on the “Donate Life” float as one of 32 people from across the nation who are either recipients, living donors, members of donor families or advocates.

After helping decorate the float, she will ride on it, carrying photos of two very special people who donated kidneys to save her life.

One photo will be of her first kidney donor, Joseph Albers of Bath, who was two weeks shy of his 21st birthday when he died in a car accident. That was 26 years ago.Read more

Donate Life Rose Float - Revealed

Organ & Tissue Donation Blog | Dave Hollon
A few moments ago, the Donate Life Rose Float was rolled out of the Phoenix Rosemont Decorating Barn and was allowed to unfurl to its full size.



2013 Donate Life Rose Float Initial Roll out 2 from Glenn Matsuki on Vimeo.

It is simply amazing to witness this in person says Donate Life Ambassador Dave Hollon, Kidney and Pancreas transplant recipient. Up to the very minute of judging, the float decorators will touch up any floral damage due to the opening of the float. The float riders will ascend the float and will be in place for the judging.  For the float riders this is a very reverent time as one is able to for the first time to reflect on the magnitude of the journey they will be embarking upon.

Sandy Hook Elementary School honored on the 2013 Donate Life Float 'Journeys of the Heart'

Organ and Tissue Donation Blog
Photo Credit:  Frank & Vicki Vego
At the front of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, 'Journeys of the Heart' is the rose dedication memorial garden filled with rose dedications to organ, eye and tissue donors.

This year the Donate Life Float committee felt it was important to recognize and honor the heroes of Sandy Hook Elementary School by dedicating a rose to the 26 fallen individuals.

The red roses at the upper right hand side of the heart consists of large red roses on the outside representing the teachers protecting the babies (smaller red roses) in the middle.
For our friends Frank and Vicki Vego, a transplant recipient family who is grateful for the gift of life expressed that Donate Life's commemoration of these individuals is why they love the Donate life float and it means so much to their family to be part of this organization of truly remarkable people!

Judging of the Rose Parade Floats to commence shortly

Organ and Tissue Donation Blog
Sneak peak of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float 'Journeys of the Heart' as it is rolled out of the Rosemont decorating barn.

A Family's Loss Becomes A Gift To Three Little Boys

Fox CT Now | Sarah Cody
In June of 2008, Sage Novak was eating breakfast with her husband, Rob, when a bobcat ran through their yard and stopped to take a long look at them, starting their day off on an exciting note.

They were still talking about it when Rob got into his car, headed for a golf tournament with his father. But Novak's college sweetheart, 33 and seemingly healthy, never returned.

"He had an undetermined medical episode on the way home and passed away on the scene," says Novak, who had no idea how to tell their 1- and 4-year-old daughters that their dad, known as a strong athlete, had died.
Read more - and watch video

Plymouth man kept alive by transplants for 25 years - UK

This is Plymouth | Sophie Taylor
A MAN who was given a life-saving heart transplant has just celebrated the 25th anniversary of his surgery – despite being told it would only last a maximum of 10 years.

Forty-six-year-old Paul Hayman appeared on the front page of The Herald in 1987 on the day he underwent an operation which he said "saved his life".

Five years previously he'd been struck down with a serious and rare heart condition which made his heart four times its normal size.

Paul's surgery was carried out by Sir Terence English, the man who performed Britain's first ever successful heart transplant.

On December 18, 1987 Paul, then aged 20, was rushed to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire via ambulance and plane, wearing his favourite Plymouth Argyle shirt, after a two-month wait for the vital organ
Read more

Rose Parade float encourages life-saving organ donations

89.3 KPCC | Stephanie O'Neill
Photo: Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Rosemary Rodriguez holds last year's floragraph of her son, David Jr., who died at 21 in 2002. Rodriguez donated his heart, kidney, lungs, liver, pancreas and tissue. Now, the Rodriguez family is part of Donate Life's Ambassador program, in which they share their experiences with the community.
At the bustling float decoration area inside Pasadena's vast Rosemont Pavilion, Rudolfo Barajas remembers his little brother, Gabriel.

The 22-year-old Iraq war veteran was in the Army Special Forces that captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. To Barajas and the rest of his family, Gabriel seemed invincible.

But one evening, while changing a flat tire on Interstate 5 near Dodger Stadium, Gabriel was hit by a car. He died four days later.

"The fact that he had gone through so much in Iraq, the stories that he would tell me of what happened in Iraq and the fact he was part of the Special Forces that were able to capture Sadd…

December 26, Volunteers continue to decorate the Donate Life Rose Float 1Journey's of the Heart'

December 26, 2012 - Float decorating season is in full swing as volunteers decorate "Journeys of the Heart".

Photo credit:  Luis Ramirez, OneLegacy
Click Here To Go Directly to the Flickr Gallery
Follow the Donate Life Rose Float Journey HERE
ACreated with flickr slideshow.

Volunteers from across the country decorate the Donate LIfe Rose Float, December 22

December 22, 2012 - Float decorating season is in full swing as volunteers decorate "Journeys of the Heart".


Photo credit:  Luis Ramirez, OneLegacy
Click Here To Go Directly to the Flickr Gallery
Follow the Donate Life Rose Float Journey  HERE
ACreated with flickr slideshow.

Chopper crash victims honored at Florida Mayo Clinic

St. Augustine Record | AP


JACKSONVILLE — Mayo Clinic in Florida employees are honoring the memories of a heart surgeon and a technician who died when the helicopter carrying them to retrieve a heart crashed last year.

Federal investigators are still working to determine what doomed the helicopter flown Dec. 26, 2011, by E. Hoke Smith of SK Logistics in St. Augustine.

Smith was flying Dr. Luis Bonilla and organ procurement technician David Hines from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to a Gainesville hospital when the helicopter crashed in a remote, wooded area in Clay County. All three men died in the crash.

The entire transplant procurement team in Jacksonville gathered Wednesday to remember their lost colleagues, Mayo Clinic officials said.

“They are remembered every day by the patients whose lives they touched and by their colleagues who are carrying on their work,” said Dr. Bill Rupp, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida.
Read more
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.…

Lung transplant the luck of the draw for cystic fibrosis sufferer-Australia

Herald Sun | Lucie van den Berg


Photo: Cystic fibrosis sufferer Priscilla Mallis, pictured with her mum Angela, needs a lung transplant due to her failing health.Picture: Ian Currie Source: Herald Sun

PUT a straw in your mouth and hold your nose. Now breathe. The struggle for air is what it feels like every time Priscilla Hope Mallis, 19, takes a breath.

But Priscilla is holding out hope that after almost two decades she will soon get a new set of lungs.

"I just can't wait to get them, to take that first normal breath and to start living my life," the Melbourne teenager says.

Then, she could dump her oxygen tank. Maybe she would even go to her first nightclub, a dinner with friends or plan a trip.

Cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease, has been destroying her lungs.

Hospital visits every few weeks, physiotherapy and 30 vitamins and antibiotics keep her going.

Unlike most teens, her must-have accessory is an oxygen mask and tank.
Read more
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue do…

Lung transplant patient breathes easy

News Journal | by ALEX BRANCH Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Photo by Ron Jenkins. Randy Gideon talks earlier this month at his Fort Worth home. This past Dec. 26, the prominent Fort Worth architect got a late Christmas present: a double lung transplant.

FORT WORTH — Randy Gideon spent Christmas Day 2011 in a respirator mask, seated alone, watching his family celebrate the holiday from across the living room.

He breathed with help from an oxygen tank. He was weak, but even if he had been strong enough, Gideon couldn’t cross the room to join his loved ones because he couldn’t risk catching a virus.

If he got any sicker, his family knew, he could not undergo a lifesaving double lung transplant.

Just that month, Gideon had temporarily been removed from the organ donation waiting list at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas after coming down with the flu.
Read more
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

Late Ontario resident to be featured on Donate Life float

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin | Liset Marquez


Photo: Maria Diaz and Vicki Kopasz decorate the floragraph of Alfredo Diaz for the Donate Life Rose Parade float. (Courtesy photo)

ONTARIO - Alfredo Diaz loved being around family and friends and most of all, he loved to entertain.

On Tuesday, Diaz will once again be delighting crowds. This time, through his presence on the Donate Life's entry in the 124th annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

It's also fitting, given the Ontario resident's dedication for the renowned parade, having volunteered for more than two decades in various capacities.

Diaz died Oct. 30, 2011 from heart complications following three brain surgeries in four days. His cornea, skin and other bones were donated and could help between 50 and 150 people battling breast and other types of cancer, as well as cardiac patients.

And with the Rose Parade an integral part of his life for the last 28 years, he was buried in the classic white suit and red tie that committee memb…

Organ donor recipients ride with Donate Life in the 2013 Rose Parade

Pasadena Star News | Stephanie Cary


Photo: Heart transplant recipient Kevin Riepl, of Winnetka, will be representing Cedars-Sinai's Comprehensive Transplant Center on the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade float. Riepl, who is a music composer for films and video games, works in his studio. Wednesday, December 12, 2012. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer)

Millions of people will be watching the Rose Parade on New Years Day.

Some from the streets of the parade route, others in the warmth of their home.

To most of them it's a tradition, a celebration of another year passed.

But to the Riepl family, it will be a culmination of all they have triumphantly overcome the past two years.

At just 38 years old, Kevin Riepl is a heart transplant recipient. He will be joining about 30 other organ donor recipients, family members of organ donors and living donors on the Donate Life float as his wife and twin sons watch from the sideline.

"I was selected by Cedars-Sinai," Riepl says of how…

Champ skater Richard Taylor's organs saved at least two lives-Wales

Wales OnLine | By Rachel Mainwaring


The mum of a champion skater who died at the age of 23 has revealed for the first time the details of at least two people whose lives were saved by his donated organs.

Gaynor Taylor, whose son Richard died in a freak skating accident outside his Barry home, said the man who received his heart even went on to win a gold medal at the Transplant Games.

Gaynor, who has campaigned for more organ donation, has never met the people who received her son’s organs after the tragedy eight years ago but she doesn’t rule it out in future.

She has limited details of all of them through a process strictly controlled by hospital organ donation teams.
Read more
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

A world first: British banker donates TWO vital organs - a lung and now and a kidney - to save life of his childhood sweetheart

Daily Mail | By JO MACFARLANE and MARTYN HALLE


Photo: Phillip Ide: Gift of life: Husband David Whayland was a donor for his wife Carolyn's kidney transplant just before Christmas

Few gifts could be more precious than the one David Whaymand gave to his wife Carolyn this Christmas. When cystic fibrosis sufferer Carolyn was told her kidneys were failing and that her only chance of survival was a transplant, her devoted husband stepped in without hesitation to offer one of his own organs.

It was a touching gesture of love and one David was happy to make after 15 years of marriage to his childhood sweetheart. But what makes his sacrifice all the more remarkable is that, in similarly desperate circumstances 13 years ago, David also gave Carolyn a portion of one of his lungs. These two inspiring deeds are now thought to represent a world first.

Doctors and transplant experts say there are no known cases in which a living donor has given up two organs. This is due to the serious risks of suc…

Billboard seeking kidney launches chain of giving

Journal Sentinel | Mark Johnson


Photo: Kristyna Wentz-Graff. Stephanie Henderson (right) of Kimberly talks with her surgeon, Allan Roza, and nurse Cami Meunier during a follow-up visit at Froedtert Hospital Dec. 14. Henderson had a kidney transplant Nov. 28, which was part of a chain of transplants arranged through a computer system.

Terry Dvorak heard about the billboard on U.S. 41 - "Young Mother Needs Live Kidney Donor. Is It You?"

Two words resonated: "young mother." She had that in common with the patient seeking the kidney, Stephanie Henderson, an information technology worker from Kimberly.
Read more
Dvorak kept thinking: This woman needs to be there for her kid. Dvorak, a mother herself, would help this woman she'd never met.

She announced her intentions to her husband in a way that said, "This is not up for debate."

"She just told me she was going to donate a kidney," Carl Dvorak recalled.

That's when things got complicated.

It turned o…

Basking Ridge resident to ride on the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade

NJ.com | The Messenger Gazette
Pictured at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (from left) are Mark Reagan, heart transplant recipient; Brian Eaton of Pine Beach is waiting for a heart transplant; Elisse Glennon, executive director of NJ Sharing Network Foundation; Trevor Williams of Summit who is waiting for a heart transplant; Joseph Roth, president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network; Mark J. Zucker, MD, JD, director of The Harvey and Georgina Weinstein National Heart Transplant Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; and Darrell Terry, chief operating officer of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Heart transplant recipient and Basking Ridge resident Mark Reagan will be one of 32 organ recipients riding on the Donate Life float at the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on Jan 1, 2013.

Reagan, who received his heart transplant at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in 2003, returned to the hospital to meet with many of the people who make organ transplant a reali…

A Blessed Survivor

Lifeline of Ohio
Photo: Kidney recipient, Margaret Petrosky.

Kidney recipient Margaret Petrosky will celebrate her 10-year transplant anniversary on New Years Eve, 2012. To express her gratitude in recieving the Gift of Life, we wanted to share her story, in her own words.

The story, as told by Margaret Petrosky (Kidney Recipient)

“You look terrific…so much color…so full of life!” These were my husband’s, Phil, first words to me as I awoke from my kidney transplant surgery. Some 13 hours earlier, while we waited for our dinner to be served at Max and Erma’s, my cell phone rang. I answered and it was “The Call.” I told Phil it is OSU Transplant and we have to be there in an hour. We jumped, we rushed, our sweet little waitress bagged the dinner to go that we would never eat, we stopped quickly at home for my pre-packed hospital bag, and we made it to the hospital within that hour.

Awakening, I told him I felt great, I couldn’t believe how great I felt…and so soon after surgery. Continuing t…

Teen transplant survivor will be in Rose Parade

Redlands Daily Facts | Rory O'Sullivan
A Loma Linda University transplant recipient spent Thursday in Pasadena decorating a float that he will ride during the 2013 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.

Ernesto Bravo Chavez, 13, of Palm Springs cut flowers for the float alongside his 18-year-old brother, Arturo, and his parents, Rosario and Arturo Sr.

The float is for Donate Life, a national organization committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation, according to its website.

Ernesto started becoming frequently sick when he was 3 years old.

"My parents tell me it was like I had a cold," said Ernesto in a statement from Donate Life.

"My parents took me to the ER many times, but the doctor would always tell them it was the flu."

He eventually became very ill and ended up at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, where it was determined that his kidneys had failed.

He started dialysis and was eventually listed for a kidney transplant.

After 15 months of dialys…

Md. teen honored in Tournament of Roses Parade

WSBTV Action News 2 | By KAUSTUV BASUHAGERSTOWN, Md. — The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year's Day will feature a float that will carry a floragraph — a tribute made with flowers and leaves about 14 inches in diameter resembling a photograph — dedicated to the memory of a Hagerstown teenager whose family donated his organs after he was killed in a car crash earlier this year.

Quinn Hoover, 17, died on March 18 after an early-morning accident near Clear Spring. A student at Washington County Technical High School, he was known for his outgoing personality and his prowess on the soccer field, his parents said.

The float, Journeys of the Heart, honors Quinn and 71 other organ, eye and tissue donors, whose organ donations helped other people live, according to the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, a nonprofit that facilitates organ donation.

Quinn's parents, Tom and Sonja Hoover, are being flown to Pasadena to help decorate the float and watch the parade…

Donor's life inspires family's effort

The Telegraph | Jess Charlton
Photo: From left, Ray and Eleanor Hess and Eleanor's parents, Larry and Vivian Lefferts, hold a picture of their late son, John. The Lefferts have put on the fireworks display in Alton since 1998. Vivian is riding in this year's Tournament of Roses Parade in honor of her son's donor cause.

ALTON - Eight years ago, Vivian and Larry Lefferts experienced the unimaginable, unexpected loss of their 22-year-old son, John, due to an aortic aneurysm.

Vivian, a local woman, born and raised in the area, has been chosen by Gift of Hope to represent them in the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2013, in Pasadena, Calif.

The Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organization that has been participating in the Rose Parade for the past 10 years. It coordinates organ and tissue donations and is devoted to helping bring awareness in the Illinois and northern Indiana area.

This year, there will be 32 riders and 72 floragraph portraits o…

Niece remembered through organ donation

Hattiesburg American | Elizabeth Shoemake
Vicki and Jason Shoemake complete details on a floragraph of their daughter, Holland Shoemake, at Magnolia Baptist Church during a float-decorating ceremony. / File/Ryan Moore/Hattiesburg American

Earlier this month there was an article in this paper about a young girl, Holland Shoemake, who is being honored as an organ donor on the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. The story of Holland’s accident and ultimate death was not news to me. Holland, you see, was my niece.

Holland was a vibrant young girl, full of life and biting at the bit to go out and live it. T

he last time I saw her before her accident was two weeks prior at her 16th birthday party.

Her parents threw her a grand party that year. There were colorful roses on tables under white tents.Read more

Toddler in waiting game for a double transplant

Contra Costa Times | Gary Peterson
It's a game they know well. Julius Heilman leans forward near where 21-month-old Matthew Ouimet is seated, a ballpoint pen conspicuously tucked in the breast pocket of his lab coat. In a ritual honed over months, Matthew impishly "steals" the pen. It's difficult to tell which of the two enjoys the game more.

In that moment, Matthew is the epitome of a bright-eyed, adorable toddler -- by turns busy, curious, fun-loving, restless. He swipes at an iPad's screen like a lifelong techie. He performs the seated dance his family has dubbed the "wiggle butt." He uses the pen to draw squiggly lines on his bedsheets.

"He's as normal as can be," said his father, Kelly Ouimet. "Until you pull his shirt off."

Two dialysis catheters protrude from Matthew's chest. He has a feeding tube implanted in the left side of his torso. A peritoneal catheter snakes along the right side of his abdomen and into his stomach,…

Rose Parade volunteers hustle to deck out floats

ABC Los Angeles | Darsha Phillips
PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- As New Year's Day inches closer, volunteers are hustling to deck out their floats for the 124th Rose Parade.

Hundreds of volunteers were expected to fill the Phoenix Decorating Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena Saturday to glue on tens and thousands of flower petals to the various floats before they roll down the parade route on Monday. This year's theme is "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" which is inspired by Dr. Seuss.

Workers decked out the Donate Life float Saturday morning with flowers of all colors. The float is titled "Journeys of the Heart" and emphasizes an individual's journey surrounding organ donation.

Crew Chief Mike Thompson says his volunteers view decorating the floats as an honor.

"We're very, very blessed. Donate Life has a group of volunteers, that in my opinion, are second to none," Thompson said. "My volunteers are the best. They come here, they love what they'…

Mom to honor son, other organ donors by walking in Fiesta Bowl parade

Arizona Daily Star


A Tucson mother whose son was killed by a street racer last year will walk in today's Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix.

Diane Larson and her sister will walk with the Donate Life Arizona float. Larson's son, Stephen Larson, was an organ donor whose donations saved five lives, according to the Donor Network of Arizona. His family has since been in contact with all the recipients.

Stephen Larson, a 29-year-old baker at Bashas', was on his way to work about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2011 when drag racers sped through a red light at North Oracle and West River Roads and hit his car.

{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

New kidney exchange program at MUSC is giving hope to a neuroblastoma survivor facing her next big challenge

The Post & Courier


Provided: Rothschild is married to Ira Levy, pictured here with daughter Gussie in 2010.

Dana Rothschild, a 45-year-old mother of two, has been strong and stoic during the trials and tribulations of a life plagued by health problems, all stemming from having survived childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, at age 4.

But now she’s facing her biggest challenge since beating the odds four decades ago.

Following months of fatigue this summer, a routine exam in October showed that she was in end-stage renal failure. The partial kidney left following her childhood surgery was shutting down. She would need a kidney transplant and/or go on dialysis.

Initially, she was confident— between her family and an outpouring of support from the Charleston community — that she would find a suitable donor.
Read more

If you are interested in being a living donor for Dana Rothschild or anyone in need of a kidney, contact the Medical University of South Carolina’s Living Donor Transplant Program by…

West Goshen police chief turns kidney donor

Philadelphia Inquirer | Aubrey Whelan


Photo: West Goshen Police Chief Joe Gleason donated a kidney to Megan Comerford. The two were connected via a mass e-mail.

The e-mail that Nancy Gleason received last September was lengthy: a last-ditch plea from a distant relative, writing to ask if she knew anyone who might be willing to donate a kidney to a stranger.

Gleason clicked the "forward" button and typed in her husband's e-mail address. Her e-mail was just one line long: "We're both O-positive. I'm in if you are."

Eight months later, Chief Joe Gleason of the West Goshen Police Department was heading into surgery at the Mayo Clinic, about to give a major organ to a woman he had met two days before.

Gleason, 55, who has led the West Goshen department since 2011, gives new meaning to the term unassuming. Ask him to talk about himself and he'll smile and say he just doesn't like to. Married to Nancy for 30 years, a father of three, he worked his way up fr…

'Give Gary new life,' donor says to his kidney before transplant

MLive | Sue Thoms


The Rev. Scott Visser found spiritual lessons in organ transplants when he became a kidney donor for his brother-in-law. In this column submitted by Saint Mary's Health Care, he discusses his experience as a donor

It has been nearly a year since I donated my kidney to my brother-in-law. The dust has settled. Thanks to the God-given care and skill of all involved at the Kidney Transplant Program at Saint Mary's Health Care, all went better than well. It was blessed!

While praying the night before the surgery, I found myself talking to my kidney. I know. Kidneys cannot hear. I talked anyway. I thanked my kidney for his faithful service to me. I admitted that I had taken him for granted. But not now. Then I informed him of his new mission: He would be invaded, cut out, abducted and inserted into a foreign body -- Gary's body. I asked him to get along with the other organs, do his best and give Gary new life.
http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/201…

Heart transplant patient becomes unexpected ambassador for organ donation

News Medical | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center


Kevin Riepl arrived at Cedars-Sinai in October 2010, suffering from sudden heart failure that left him fighting for his life. Surgeons swiftly installed a heart pump and later transplanted a new heart, saving his life and turning him into an unexpected ambassador for organ donation.

Now the 38-year-old Winnetka man is preparing to represent Cedars-Sinai's Comprehensive Transplant Center on the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade float. With his wife, twin sons and parents watching from the grandstand, Riepl hopes his presence on the float will send a message about the importance of donating organs.

"It's the best gift anybody can ever give," he said.

Riepl's doctors say they are pleased with his recovery after seven surgeries over 2 ½ years, and that his new heart is stronger than ever. Riepl, they say, is an inspiration to other transplant patients.

"Kevin's case shows how important organ donation is, especially these days…

Searching for a life-saving kidney -- and finding the kindness of strangers

CBS Evening News | Steve Hartman


Photo: Larry Swilling hopes to find an organ donor for his wife by asking passersby to donate their kidneys. / CBS News

(CBS News) ANDERSON, S.C. -- Larry Swilling and his wife Jimmie Sue have been happily married 57 years. So happily, in fact, that Larry has now come to realize the downside of loving someone so much you can't live without them.

You can't live without them.

"She's my heart," he said.

Heart has never been an issue for these two.

What's always been lacking is a kidney. Jimmie Sue was born with only one, and now that one is shot. She needs a transplant -- but neither her husband, nor anyone tested in her family, is a suitable match.

Jimmie Sue is on a donor list, but the wait is about two or three years long and that's for a kidney from a deceased donor. Transplant patients who get their kidneys from living donors tend to live longer.

Which is why Larry decided to try a completely radical approach to securing a kidne…

Pinole donor recipient taking part in Tournament of Roses Parade

Daily Breeze | Contra Costa Times


This year's Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on Tuesday will include a special float honoring organ donors and their recipients, including a recipient from West Contra Costa.

The Donate Life float "Journeys of the Heart" will include a likeness in flowers of George Becker, who died in 2010.

Riding on the float will be Becker's mother, Connie Mays, and Alfonso Garcia of Pinole, a 2012 alumnus of St. Mary's High School in Berkeley who was the recipient of the late Becker's liver.

Becker was only 22 when he succumbed to an infection.
Read more

{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

The Gift of Organ Donation

KMIT | SaVannah Reading


FLOYD, IA-It's a question you may have been asked while getting a new drivers license.
Or maybe even by a spouse, or family member and it's a conversation worth having, especially when an organ donation could save someone's life.

Paul Phillips has battled kidney disease since his early twenties.
Then, at age 55, his kidney's failed.

Paul says, "We decided through the Mayo Clinic to go with the transplant because I was healthy in all other aspects of my body."

Luckily for Paul he had a lot of people who were willing to give the ultimate gift, a piece of themselves.

Paul says, “So I was very thankful that a number of people wanted to volunteer to give me a kidney. God bless those people they were very willing to come forward and go through with the surgery."
Read more
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

French surfer donates kidney to Hawaiian friend

Surfer Today
Stéphane Trawalter, a Californian surfer from France, is going to donate a kidney to a Hawaiian friend and Desert Storm Veteran.

Surfing is the center of this warm story. Stéphane Trawalter, a passionate surfer from the Alsace region of France, has moved to California looking for waves.

Kai Buanoi, a Hawaiian surfer, has health, kidney and heart problems due to the agents he was exposed to during Desert Storm.

Both surfers have met each other at Tourmaline Surf Park, where they became friends for life. Buanoi needs a kidney transplant and Trawalter offered his regulatory organ.Read more

Lola Cartwright finally ready to go home after liver transplant at Royal Children's Hospital - Australia

Herald Sun | Jessica Evans
LITTLE Lola Cartwright will be home in time for New Year's Eve after a life-and-death battle in the Royal Children's Hospital.

Despite turning just one on December 7, the brave baby has already endured six months of intensive treatment at the RCH, culminating in a transplant operation for a birth defect known as Biliary Atresia - a disease of the liver.

The condition also left Lola with large fractures in her legs and fluid on her abdomen, her paediatric gastroenterologist, Dr George Alex, said.

Parents Kelly and Leigh Cartwright yesterday said there could be no better start to the new year than to have their only child well and back at home.
'It will be amazing to finally go home and start a normal life'Read more

Heart transplant tot Jack Morris is back in his Liverpool home - UK

Liverpool Echo | by Gemma JaleelA LIVERPOOL dad today spoke of his gratitude that his family have been reunited after his young son was given a new heart.

Eighteen-month-old Jack Morris underwent a life-saving heart transplant after spending five months on the transplant list - and after his dad made an appeal in the ECHO.

Earlier this year Jack was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy with the left ventricle of his heart not pumping effectively.

Dad Chris, who also has another son Alex, aged four, with his partner Laura Campbell, 25, had to split his time between Liverpool and Newcastle where Jack was being cared for.Read more

Fairview man gave the greatest gift

The Tennessean  | Nancy Stephens
In recent weeks, many of us have been rushing about in search of the perfect gift for someone special in our lives. After much thoughtful consideration, we are confident that we truly found the perfect gift - - but are we sure we’re giving the greatest gift possible?

Someone, possibly even someone in our community, is going to lose a someone special this holiday season because their unhealthy or diseased organs stop working before an organ donor can be located.

And it's also quite possible that sometime during this holiday season, some unexpected accident could take the life of an individual that would have been the perfect donor match.

Instead of two deaths, the life of one of those individuals could have been saved - - if only the other had been an organ donor.Read more

HEMET: Transplant recipient celebrates new life on New Year's

Hemet | Tom Sheridan
Photo: John Beers will be riding in the Rose Parade next week on a float dedicated to organ donors, manned by transplant recipients, he holds a photo album with a photograph of a woman named Carol who was his donor for a kidney. Beers was a construction and facilities manager who enjoyed backpacking and mountain climbing until his kidneys started to fail and he needed a transplant, which he received seven years ago. Credit: Don Boomer

There is no telling where John Beers would be today if a handful of complete strangers had not reconsidered their decision. It became, quite literally, a matter of life or death.

Certainly, Beers wouldn't be preparing to ride in the Rose Parade on New Year's morning, in front of hundreds of thousands of people along the route in Pasadena, and millions more on television, which beams the event to more than 200 international territories and countries.

"I can hardly wait," said Beers, 68. "I'm just excited. It'…

Record number of children have kidney transplants sparking calls for more card donors - Ireland

Independent IE | Nicola Anderson

A RECORD number of children received kidney transplants in 2012, prompting calls for more people to carry donor cards.

The national renal transplant unit at Temple Street Children's University Hospital conducted kidney transplants on 16 children this year - the most transplants conducted in one year since the unit was set up nine years ago.

The children who received new kidneys were aged four to 14 years old and were from all over Ireland, including Dublin, Cork, Sligo, Donegal and Wexford.

Of the 16 transplants, seven children received their new kidney from a living donor - a relative or friend - and nine were from a deceased donor.

The Temple Street unit is encouraging people to mark the start of the New Year by carrying a donor card and make the greatest possible act of generosity by giving the gift of life.

Dr Niamh Dolan, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at Temple Street revealed that 20 children are currently waiting for a kidney transplant.

Many …

Nanuet woman, son win N.Y. organ-pledge contest

Lower Hudson Journal News | Jane Lerner
Photo: Heart transplant recipient Roxanne Watson, of Spring Valley, on Oct. 4 holds a photo of her donor, Micheal Blaine Bovill. / Peter Carr/The Journal News

NANUET — A mother and son team from Rockland County won a statewide contest by signing up the most people as potential organ donors.

Roxanne Watson, of Nanuet, and her son, Kellen Wingate, got more than 200 people to pledge their organs during the monthlong contest.

They won $1,000 in the contest sponsored by the New York Organ Donor Network. They donated the money to the food pantry at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Spring Valley, Watson said.

She received a heart transplant two and a half years ago after waiting for months for a donor. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to urge people to consider organ donation.Read more

Since her surgery, a life of ups (mostly) and downs for Hélène Campbell

Ottawa Citizen | Bruce Deachman
Photo:  Hélène Campbell celebrates her first Christmas since undergoing a double-lung transplant in April. She credits the rejuvenation of her faith in God, following a period of alcohol abuse, for the fact that she’s alive today.
Photograph by: Bruce Deachman , Ottawa Citizen

Hélène Campbell’s recovery from her double-lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital on Good Friday was much quicker than doctors expected after complicated surgery. The 21-year-old Barrhaven woman was back home by mid July.

In the five months since, her medical progress has been a catalogue of ups and downs, the latter first occurring at the end of summer when tests revealed high levels of creatine and low levels of hemoglobin, indications that her kidneys weren’t functioning properly.

Initial tests suggested she might be allergic to a couple of her medications, including Septra. Good news, she thought, because those drugs could simply be changed and her kidneys would improve. It wa…

Young Hagerstown crash victim whose donated organs saved others' lives to be honored in Rose Parade

Herald-Mail | KAUSTUV BASUPhoto: Sonja and Tom Hoover, parents of Quinn Hoover, who died March 18 in a car accident, are shown with a floragraph of Quinn's image. The floragraph will will be part of the Journeys of the Heart float in the Tournament of Roses Parade that will honor Quinn and 71 other organ, eye and tissue donors. (Submitted photo / December 27, 2012)
The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day will feature a float that will carry a floragraph — a tribute made with flowers and leaves about 14 inches in diameter resembling a photograph — dedicated to the memory of a Hagerstown teenager whose family donated his organs after he was killed in a car crash earlier this year.

Quinn Hoover, 17, died on March 18 after an early-morning accident near Clear Spring. A student at Washington County Technical High School, he was known for his outgoing personality and his prowess on the soccer field, his parents said.Read more