Sat, December 30, 2017
WellStar West Georgia Medical Center partnered with LifeLink of Georgia to honor organ, eye and tissue donors. On January 1, 2018, the Donate Life float titled ‘The Gift of Time’ will appear in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., ahead of the University of Georgia’s appearance in the College Football Playoff game.
The float will include a dedication garden made up of roses featuring notes and messages from officials around the country. WellStar leaders signed handwritten dedications celebrating transplant recipients, honoring donors and thanking individuals and groups who support and take part in the donation and transplant community.
“We want to pay tribute to donors who gave an extraordinary gift – the gift of life,” said Jerry Fulks, president of WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. “Organ, eye and tissue donations bring hope and new life in the midst of tragedy.”
The Gift of Time float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. It celebrates the gift of life as costumed riders sit alongside the jungle, against stone carvings, drawing on the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey. Families of deceased donors are honored to see their loved ones’ floral images highlighted as part of the float. Living donors and recipients bring the float to life by riding or walking beside the float.
In August, several WellStar hospitals were recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration for their continued efforts to promote organ donor registration. The highest ‘Platinum’ honor was awarded to WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Cobb Hospital and WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center. Other hospitals honored included WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar Douglas, North Fulton and Paulding hospitals as well as WellStar West Georgia Medical Center and WellStar Corporate.
WellStar works closely with LifeLink Georgia, a not-for-profit organization that coordinates the recovery of lifesaving and life enhancing organs and tissue for transplantation therapy.
“WellStar Health System is a great champion for organ, eye, and tissue donation. We are proud of this accomplishment and applaud WellStar for making a difference in the lives of the more than 5,500 Georgians that are currently waiting for transplant,” says Cristina Kroeppler, hospital development liaison with LifeLink of Georgia, “It is because of these professionals’ unyielding dedication to saving lives that we applaud their achievements.”
Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ and tissue donors. In addition to the 40 million viewers who watch the Rose Parade on TV and along the parade route, hundreds of events are held in cities and towns around the country to complete the “floragraphs” (floral portraits) of donors that adorn the float.
For the thousands of Georgians listed for a life-saving transplant, organ donation offers hope for a longer life. Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history; a single donor can save or improve the lives of nearly 75 people. To learn more about becoming a donor, visit www.donatelifegeorgia.org.