SOURCE: Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
ITASCA, IL--(Marketwired - Dec 11, 2013) - Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and members of the Champaign-area organ and tissue donation advocacy community joined White Heath, Ill., residents Robyn and Mike Deterding as they added the final touches to a memorial floragraph featuring their son, Teddy, who died at age 11 in 2000. The Deterdings made the decision to donate Teddy's organs, allowing him to save the life of one person as an organ donor and give sight to another as a cornea donor. The floragraph -- a floral image of Teddy captured in flowers, seeds and spices -- is one of 81 colorful tributes that will memorialize organ, eye and tissue donors on the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade float during the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.
"After Teddy's accident, we were praying for a miracle," said Robyn Deterding. "We soon realized that he was the miracle, but it was a miracle for somebody else."
The "Rose Parade Rally," held December 10 on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, where Deterding serves as Director of Campus Recreation, also included remarks from Linda Ramos, an organ and tissue transplant recipient who will represent Gift of Hope and the Illinois donation advocacy community as one of 30 riders on the Donate Life float. The program also featured a Rose Dedication Ceremony, which allowed donation supporters to honor donors, recipients and others touched by organ and tissue donation with personal messages of love, hope and remembrance attached to roses that will join more than 1,000 others in the Dedication Garden on the Donate Life float.
"Gift of Hope has been proud to support Donate Life's participation in the Tournament of Roses parade since the first Donate Life float appeared 11 years ago," said David Bosch, Gift of Hope's Director of Communications. "Through programs such as this, our organization hopes to raise awareness of the critical need for registered organ and tissue donors in our Illinois and northwest Indiana service areas. More than 5,000 people in Illinois and 1,500 people in Indiana are currently waiting for lifesaving transplants. One donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 25 people, so a single decision to be a registered donor can go a long way. It is our mission to inspire as many people as possible to make the decision to become someone else's miracle, just like Teddy did."
For more information about donation or to become a registered donor, please visit GiftofHope.org.
About Gift of Hope
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization entrusted by the nation's healthcare system with coordinating organ and tissue donation and providing donor family services and public education in Illinois and northwest Indiana. Since 1987, it has coordinated donations that have saved the lives of nearly 20,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 58 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation's organ and tissue donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 donor hospitals and serves 12 million residents in its donation service area. To learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation, or to register as an organ and tissue donor, visit GiftofHope.org.