Anthony Patterson, University of Alabama at Birmingham senior vice president of inpatient services, wrote a personal, handwritten message today to honor the patients and families who have saved lives and healed through organ, eye and tissue donation. Patterson’s message will appear on the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade float, themed “Light Up the World,” on New Year’s Day.
One of the trademarks of the float design is a Dedication Garden filled with thousands of roses, each placed in a vial carrying a unique, personal message from an individual, family or organization. The American Hospital Association, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and the Eye Bank Association of America have joined together to offer hospital CEOs nationwide the opportunity to handwrite a dedication to be placed on the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade float.
“The Rose Parade is an ideal venue to showcase how generous people — many of whom we are proud to have served as patients at UAB Hospital — make possible the lifesaving and healing benefits of organ, eye and tissue donation,” Patterson said.
For the past 10 years, dozens of organizations nationwide, including the Alabama Organ Center, have collaborated to enter a Donate Life float in the Rose Parade. Originally envisioned by a lung recipient who wished to thank donors for their gifts of life, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has grown into a national tradition featuring dozens of participants each year, including riders who have received transplants, walkers who are living donors and deceased donors memorialized in “floragraph” portraits integrated into the float’s design.
This year’s memorial floragraph portraits will honor the living legacies of 81 people from 34 states, Korea and Taiwan, including Richard Ruble, a Jasper, Ala., native who died in January. His kidney donations saved the lives of two people, and his cornea donation gave the gift of sight to two others. Ruble donated his organs at UAB Hospital.