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Donate Life's Rose Parade Float to Honor the Life-saving Gifts of 72 Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donors

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Memorial "Floragraph" Portraits from 34 States and the Dominican Republic to be Completed by Family Members

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 31, 2012

Seventy-two organ, eye and tissue donors will be honored with floral memorial “floragraph” portraits that will grace the Donate Life float in the 2013 Rose Parade®. Each of the individuals portrayed in the floragraphs left a positive impact on their family, communities, and those they helped. The 72 floragraphs will line the heart-shaped path rising above 32 riders aboard the float, themed 'Journeys of the Heart', which dramatizes the ups and downs experienced by donor families, transplant recipients and living donors.

“The donors' families and dozens of volunteers will decorate the portraits with grains, flowers, seeds, spices and other organic materials,” said Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life float committee and vice president of communications at OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “For many of their families, this is a unique opportunity to see their loved one shine before millions of people worldwide and to gain special recognition for their gifts of life and hope.”

The floragraphs will be decorated before Christmas in Pasadena, with about a third of the portraits completed by the family members themselves. The remainder of the portraits will be partially decorated in Pasadena so that they can be completed by family members at local finishing events in their hometowns. These events are typically held at locations significant to the honoree's life: schools, houses of worship, or hospitals where the donation occurred. “These local events bring the Donate Life float experience home to the communities that meant so much to the donor,” Stewart noted.

After a decade of Donate Life floats and other regional and national campaigns, the remarkable fact for this special tenth-year float are the number of floragraph honorees who either signed up to donate their organs and tissue or indicated their desire to family members. The youngest of these were only 11 and 12: Ryan Lee Webster of Waco, Tex. and Delaney Van Wert of Niskayuna, N.Y., were too young to sign up through a driver's license, yet both made a point of telling family members how much they wanted to help others when they were gone.

Today, more than 115,000 candidates are on the national organ transplant waiting list. Largely due to the rarity of donation opportunities, only about 28,000 organs are transplanted each year. As a result, 18 candidates die each day for lack of a donor. A single organ donor can save the lives of eight people through organ donation, while a single tissue donor can save and heal 50 others through needed heart valves, corneas, skin, bone, and tendons that mend hearts, prevent or cure blindness, heal burns and save limbs.

The 2013 Donate Life float is built by Phoenix Decorating Co., from a design by Dave Pittman and is coordinated by Donate Life America member OneLegacy. The Donate Life float campaign is supported by more than 120 official sponsors from coast to coast, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, tissue banks, state donor registries, transplant centers, hospitals, funeral homes and affiliated organizations. Joining OneLegacy as top-level benefactors are the Dignity Memorial® network, North America's largest network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers; the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB); Donate Life America; the Order of St. Lazarus, an international order originally founded in the 11th century; TBI/Tissue Banks International; and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and their National Donor Memorial.

All Donate Life float sponsors encourage parade viewers to join the nation's 107 million registered donors so that everyone whose life depends on a transplant may receive one. Registrations can be made through state registries, links to which can be found at http://www.DonateLifeAmerica.org. Further information about the Donate Life float, decorating, and dedication garden can be found at http://www.donatelifefloat.org.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/10/prweb10020297.htm

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