‘A Rose is a Rose is a Rose,’ but the Blooms on this Float Carry an Extra Message

By: Madison Brunner and Stephanie Stanley

Today, UPMC executives honor organ, tissue and cornea donors with special notes placed on personalized rose vials that will hold a rose on the Donate Life float in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

Sponsored by Donate Life America, the float carries the message of the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation to the world. There currently are nearly 120,000 individuals awaiting lifesaving organ transplants, and 8,000 deaths occur each year as a result of a shortage in organ donors.

“We are proud to honor donors and their families who gave such a priceless gift — the gift of life,” said John Innocenti, president of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside.

Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) representatives reached out to UPMC executives for their support of organ donation awareness, asking them to sign a note for this year’s float. The 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade® Float, “Teammates in Life,” is a Polynesian catamaran, the sails of which will feature 60 floral portraits of donors. Families of deceased donors will “row” the float while living donors and recipients will ride or walk alongside during the parade.

“This float truly depicts the circle of life, from the unfortunate tragedy and grief that some families must endure, to the miraculous hope given to someone so sick,” said Angie Hockman, professional services liaison at CORE. “I am hopeful that anyone watching this parade who has never considered registering as a donor will start that conversation with their family and make the choice to give the greatest gift of all, life.”

Visit the UPMC Transplant Services for more information.

To become an organ donor, go to https://www.donatelife.net/.