Donor Alliance Sponsors Brother of Organ and Tissue Donor to Ride the Donate Life Rose Parade Float on New Year’s Day
Donor Alliance, the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and most of Wyoming today announced its sponsorship of a float rider from Colorado aboard the annual Donate Life float in the Tournament of Roses Parade®. Peter Lang of Golden was just 16-years-old when his sister Perri Lang lost her life following a car accident, becoming an organ and tissue donor. After experiencing the hope and seeing the amazing promise her gifts made possible for others, Peter has become an advocate for the cause of organ and tissue donation. On January 1st, Peter will join 31 other riders from around the country on the Donate Life float, now in its tenth year, in a tribute to the millions of people touched by organ, eye and tissue donation. Peter will ride the float in memory of his sister.
Perri was a strong-willed, spirited 20-year-old with beautiful blue eyes and an unforgettable smile. She played softball starting at a very young age and became a reliable centerfielder on a team she loved. Perri was attending a local cosmetology school with the intent of beginning her chosen career, when a tragic car accident ended her life.
“Just as I could not have imagined my life without Perri in it, I also could not have imagined being faced with the decisions that would need to be made in the final hours of her life,” said Peter, now 18-years-old. Because Perri was a registered organ and tissue donor, Peter and his family were aware of her decision to be a donor at the time of her death.
Now Peter looks forward to joining others from around the country that have been touched by organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation in celebration of the cause and in remembrance of Perri and her gifts of life.
“With time, I have realized what a great impact this unspeakably tragic event has had,” said Peter. “With the gifts from my sister Perri, three lives were saved and many others have been changed. To me, there is nothing more special than to be able to give others a second chance at life.”
The Donate Life Rose Parade float will this year be themed “Journeys of the Heart.” The ups and downs of life teach us many lessons, with those experienced through organ and tissue donation and transplantation being among the most profound. Donor families pass through grief on the way to peace and remembrance, living donors step forward to give love and life to others and transplant recipients courageously move forward from harrowing illness to health and gratitude. Though our paths vary from the places we start, we are all connected on our “Journeys of the Heart.”
Inspired by the 2013 Rose Parade® theme “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!™,” the tenth Donate Life Rose Parade float entry will transport 32 riders representing deceased organ, eye and tissue donors, living donors and transplant recipients through a magical, heart-filled world encompassing the highs and lows that life has to offer. A pathway of looping hearts will be lined with 72 memorial floragraph portraits of deceased donors who are remembered every step of the way. The float’s collection of joyful hearts representing the new life made possible by transplantation will be grounded by a reverent dedication garden filled with roses bearing personal messages honoring those who make the gift of life possible. The journey will peak with overlapping red and purple hearts representing the love and courage that define humanity at its best.
“It is our honor to sponsor Peter and the Lang family to represent Donor Alliance in this amazing national campaign to highlight organ, eye and tissue donors and recipients on a national stage,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “Peter is wise beyond his mere 18 years and his work to promote donation is a moving and fitting memorial to his sister Perri and her gifts of life. Peter’s courageous spirit and hopeful outlook will be a perfect complement to the incredible Donate Life Rose Parade float.”
Donate Life urges Rose Parade viewers to join America’s 105 million registered donors so everyone whose life depends on a transplant can have one. Sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor when renewing your driver’s license or by visiting www.DonateLifeAmerica.org.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses® is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade presented by Honda, Rose Bowl Game® presented by VIZIO and various associated events. The 124th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!™,” will take place Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands. Following the parade, the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO will kick off at 2:10 p.m. and feature an exciting match-up between two of the top collegiate football teams in the nation. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.