Honoree’s stories highlight the life-changing power of cornea, skin, bone and musculoskeletal tissue grafts, as well as the lifesaving power of organ donation
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Three men and women whose lives were saved and healed thanks to the generosity of others through cornea and tissue donation will be among the 54 participants on the Donate Life Rose Parade® float on January 1, 2022 in Pasadena.
The 2022 Donate Life float, “Courage to Hope” is the centerpiece of a national effort to reach a broad audience with the important message that organ, eye and tissue donation saves and heals lives. The three tissue recipients, along with 27 floral portraits or floragraphs of cornea and tissue donors, represent the healing and transformational power of tissue donation.
Thanks to tissue donors, millions of people are healed every year and thousands of lives are saved. Tissue from one single donor can touch the lives of more than 75 people. Some of the tissues that can be donated include lifesaving heart valves and skin grafts for burn survivors. Other tissues that are crucial to help heal and restore mobility include bone, ligament and nerve allografts, among others.
The 2022 Donate Life Float tissue recipients include the following float riders:
Kim McMahon, a 63 year old flight attendant whose involvement in organ, eye and tissue donation began when her 16-year-old son William suddenly needed a liver transplant in 2004. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005. Kim launched a non-profit foundation in William’s memory to champion the cause of organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation. In 2021, at the age of 63, Kim underwent an eight-hour spinal fusion surgery, receiving donor bone to repair and strengthen her spine.
Chris Brown, a 36 year old tissue recipient from Georgia. In March of 2019, Chris’s right arm was traumatically amputated. A few months later, Chris began suffering from chronic pain. Chris was referred to a nerve surgeon who explained that nerves injured as a result of the amputation were the cause of the pain and recommend surgical nerve repair. During the procedure, Chris’s nerves were reconstructed by connecting them to nerves located in his shoulder muscle. There were large gaps that needed to be bridged with donated tissue. Thanks to a donor’s gracious gift, Chris is back to work, back to the baseball field with his four kids, and living pain free.
Aliza Marlin, a 52 year old from New York whose participation on the float is sponsored by CryoLife. Aliza’s journey with congenital heart disease and tissue donation began when she was diagnosed with aortic stenosis. She had her first open-heart surgery at age 8, her second at 18 and her third at 27. In 2015, Aliza experience overwhelming exhaustion. An emergency visit to her cardiologist confirmed endocarditis, an infection of the heart which required a pulmonary valve replacement. Aliza received a heart valve from a young woman in New York and she is grateful for her family who, in the midst of their grief, chose life.
The Donate Life Rose Parade float, produced by OneLegacy, is made possible thanks to more than 40 sponsors. The 2022 float will honor 54 participants, including 19 riders and walkers who are either living donors, or organ and tissue recipients.
The 2022 Donate Life float, “Courage to Hope,” features the majestic, winged Lion of Venice from Italy’s Piazza San Marco or Saint Mark’s Square, set amidst the Venetian Gothic architecture of the Doge’s Palace or Palazzo Ducale and Venice’s quintessential gondolas and flowing canals. As the world’s most visible campaign to inspire organ, eye and tissue donation, the Donate Life Rose Parade float inspires viewers to help the over 1 million people in need of organ, eye or tissue transplants each year. Register today to become an organ, eye or tissue donor by visiting DonateLife.net.