Gift of Life Donor Program is announcing today that it will be part of America’s New Year Celebration, the Rose Parade®, as one of the sponsors of the 2019 Donate Life float. Celebrating its 16th Anniversary, the Donate Life float is part of a national initiative to help share the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation with millions of people, who either visit Pasadena or tune in to watch the Rose Parade® every New Year. This will be the 8th year that Gift of Life Donor Program is sponsoring the Donate Life float.
“With nearly 115,000 people currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant, we are grateful to be a part of this year’s Donate Life float, to bring worldwide attention to the need for more people to register as donors, and by doing so, help make an impact in the lives of many,” said Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO at Gift of Life Donor Program. “We look forward to showcasing the stories of our participants and we hope to inspire others to register and get involved, after hearing their remarkable stories of donation.”
The theme for the 130th Rose Parade® is “The Melody of Life,” which celebrates music, the universal language. Two-time organ recipient and the Tournament of Roses’ first African-American president, Gerald Freeny, envisioned the parade’s theme. “Music has the power to not only bring us together, but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can,” said Freeny. “Rhythm, melody, harmony and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.”
With this in mind, the 2019 Donate Life float’s theme, Rhythm of the Heart, depicts an exciting design that invites parade audiences to experience the music of Africa, in a vibrant, colorful float that features musical instruments and cultural artifacts that represent different African countries and cultures.
The 2019 Donate Life float honoree for Gift of Life Donor Program will be living donor Carolina Harvey. After finding out that her husband Lukeman needed a kidney transplant in order to survive, Carolina made the selfless decision to donate her kidney. After finding out that she and her husband were not a match, Carolina decided to participate in a paired kidney exchange program. The innovative program connects individuals who are willing to donate a kidney – but are not a match for their loved ones – with other people in the same situation. For Carolina, the exchange program was a wonderful opportunity to show her love for her husband and to bless another family. In October of 2017, Carolina donated her kidney to a young woman she never met and her husband received a kidney that saved his life. Today, Carolina and her husband are celebrating their 19th year of marriage.
The Rhythm of the Heart float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. It celebrates the gift of life as 18 transplant recipients sit against stone carvings, which reflect the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey. The float will also feature floral portraits, or floragraphs honoring 44 donors, while eight living donors and recipients walk alongside the float carrying baskets of fruit and flowers in celebration of the renewed life they have shared with one another and the world.
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 one 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
For additional information about the Tournament of Roses, please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.
About Gift of Life Donor Program
Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 46,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.
About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life, and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries; developing and executing effective multi-media donor education programs; and motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors.
About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses®
The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that hosts America’s New Year Celebration® with the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association will drive the success of 130th Rose Parade themed “The Melody of Life,” on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, followed by the 105th Rose Bowl Game. For more information, visit www.tournamentofroses.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.