LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Heroes from the world of sports, including baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew and former NFL coach Sam Wyche, will be among those honored on the 2018 Donate Life Float at the Tournament of Roses Parade January 1. Celebrating its 15th year of participating in the parade, the Donate Life Float is the centerpiece of a national effort of more than 50 organizations to reach a broad audience with the simple, life-giving message that organ, eye and tissue donation saves and heals lives.
Transplant recipient Carew will be among the float’s 17 riders. In December 2016, Carew received a heart and kidney transplant, and these two organs helped him regain health after suffering a massive heart attack the prior year. His donor was former NFL tight end Konrad Reuland, who will be present on the float through one of 44 floragraphs honoring donors whose generous act gave others a second chance at life.
Also riding on the float will be former NFL coach Wyche, who received a donated heart at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Medical Center in 2016, just hours before he was going to be transferred to hospice care. Wyche’s appearance is being co-sponsored by LifeShare of The Carolinas, Carolinas Medical Center, Donate Life South Carolina and Sharing Hope SC.
There will also be a floragraph honoring nationally known race car driver Bryan Clauson, who died in a racing accident in August 2016. Clauson was an organ and tissue donor; and through the Driven2SaveLives national campaign, his family has partnered with the Indiana Donor Network to register more than 6,000 new donors across the country.
This year’s float entry, “The Gift of Time,” reflects the parade’s theme of Making a Difference by celebrating the power of kindness and the generous acts of people throughout the world who are making a positive difference in the lives of others. Perhaps no act is more emblematic of this than becoming an organ or tissue donor: A single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue.
“Nationally there are nearly 120,000 people waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney or pancreas transplant; but there are simply not enough donors to meet the growing need,” says Tom Mone, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade® Float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “More than 35,000 lifesaving transplants were performed in the United States last year, but tragically 22 people still die each day while waiting for a lifesaving organ donation. It is our hope that our float calls attention to this message and motivates others to register to be a donor.”
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.
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.