Sunday, December 23, 2007

Donate Life: Consider Organ Donation

As Ms. Wheelchair America 2008, I will have the honor of attending the Donate Life America Rose Dedication ceremony for the families of organ donors from around the world.

Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and local coalitions across the United States dedicated to inspiring all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

The 119th Rose Parade will take place Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008 at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands from throughout the world. Following the Rose Parade, at 2 p.m. (PST), the 94th Rose Bowl Game will feature an exciting match-up between two championship teams, once again showcasing the best of collegiate football.

The 2008 Donate Life Rose Parade float features a balloon festival, with four colorful hot air balloons rising 30 feet high above 24 riders whose lives have been saved and renewed by organ, eye, tissue and blood donors. Eight donor family members will walk alongside the float, each holding tether lines connecting them to floragraphs of their loved ones.

Hundreds of individuals, families and organizations touched by donation and transplantation will join the riders and walkers as float participants through the Family Circle Rose Dedication Program. More than 1,000 roses will carry personal messages of love, remembrance and gratitude from around the world, adding an international dimension reflecting the parade’s theme, Passport to the World’s Celebrations.

The Donate Life America float is supported by more than 50 official partners from across the nation, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, transplant centers, non-profit and for-profit contributors, and transplant recipient organizations. All float partners encourage parade viewers to become registered organ, eye and tissue donors in their states and donate blood in their communities.