Tony Young to join others from around the nation touched by organ, eye and tissue donation aboard the 19th annual Donate Life Rose Parade® float
On New Year's Day, heart and kidney transplant recipient, Tony Young from Parker will represent Colorado on the 19th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float in the nationally televised Rose Parade. The Parade returns to the streets of Pasadena after a reimagined event replaced the annual tradition in 2021 due to pandemic precautions. The float has become the world's most visible campaign to inspire donation. Tony will be joined by several other participants from across the country whose lives have also been touched by donation and transplantation.
The 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade float, "Courage to Hope," will feature the majestic, winged Lion of Venice from Italy's Piazza San Marco, set amidst the Venetian Gothic architecture of the Palazzo Ducale and Venice's quintessential gondolas and flowing canals. The traditional gondolas will carry organ, eye and tissue recipients, including Tony, symbolizing the continuance of their life journey thanks to their heroic donors' gifts.
Tony is eternally grateful not only to his donor, but all donors and their families, for giving him and so many others a second chance at life. Tony was just 25 years old when he had his first heart attack and had a second at age 30. After being in and out of the hospital with congestive heart failure and varying degrees of kidney failure for the better part of the last decade, Tony received lifesaving heart and kidney transplants in March 2020.
"My transplants were a true miracle amidst what had been some dark days. " said Tony. "I'm grateful for this opportunity to not only honor my donor's legacy, but also offer some hope to others still waiting for their own lifesaving transplants."
Tony's participation in the parade is sponsored by Donor Alliance, the federally designated nonprofit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation throughout Colorado and most of Wyoming. The organization has funded float participants with the Donate Life float for more than a decade. Members of Tony's family and care team are also showing their support with a special "From Parker to Pasadena" sendoff event in Parker's O'Brien Park on Dec. 14 ahead of Tony's appearance in the parade.
"We are proud to be returning to the Rose Parade this year to share Tony's remarkable story of survival and his dedication to raising awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation both in our region and with viewers across the globe," said Jennifer Prinz, president and CEO, Donor Alliance. "We hope the powerful impact that transplantation has had on Tony's life will inspire others to give the gift of life by joining their own state donor registries."
Colorado and Wyoming residents can sign up to be organ, eye and tissue donors by saying Yes each time they obtain or renew a driver license or state ID, or anytime at DonateLifeColorado.org or DonateLifeWyoming.org.
The Parade will start at 8 a.m. PST on January 1, 2022 and be broadcast live in the U.S. by broadcast partners ABC, NBC, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, Univision and more. Check local broadcast listings for more information. For more information about the 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade float, visit DonateLifeFloat.org.
About Donor Alliance
Donor Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. As the organ and tissue procurement agency for Colorado and most of Wyoming, Donor Alliance serves more than 6.3 million residents and 117 hospitals. Donor Alliance adheres to the highest medical, regulatory and ethical standards, and meets every performance standard. By respectfully working with the families of organ and tissue donors, maintaining partnerships with hospitals, educating residents on the life-saving benefits of donation and inspiring them to sign up on the state's donor registry, Donor Alliance is able to save lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Colorado and Wyoming boast some of the highest rates of donor registration in the country, which directly translates to more lives saved and healed through organ and tissue transplantation. Donor Alliance is one of 57 federally designated organizations of its kind in the United States. For more information visit DonorAlliance.org or the Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming Facebook pages.
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