Donate Life Float Wins Award at 2014 Rose Parade
Celebrating its 10th annual appearance in the parade, the Donate Life Float once again served as a memorial to organ, eye and tissue donors.
The award-winning Donate Life Float, “Light Up the World,” at the 2014 Rose Parade.
The Donate Life Float, with the theme “Light Up the World,” won the Excellence in Presenting Parade Theme Award at the 2014 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA on New Year’s Day.
In front of a television audience in the millions, the float provided a platform for donors, donor families, living donors and transplant recipients to inspire the world.
Provided by Franciscan Alliance
Michael Henderson of the Indiana Lions Eye Bank and Alice Jenkins of Gift of Hope perform a ceremonial watering of one of the newly planted trees, meant to symbolize growth and hope.
DYER | In honor of organ, eye and tissue donors and recipients, Franciscan Alliance St. Margaret Health Dyer, in conjunction with Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and the Indiana Lions Eye Bank, conducted a Donate Life Tree Planting Ceremony recently on the hospital grounds.
Linda Kraiko, senior director of patient services, hosted the event, which was presided over by the Rev. Henry Sequeira, hospital chaplain.
Diane Ranta, a registered nurse in the Same Day Surgery unit at the hospital, told the story of her recently deceased husband, Tom, who was able to extend his life thanks to a kidney and pancreas transplant he received.
“We see the last 13 years as a gift of another family’s love,” she said.
The Transplant Games
The 2012 Transplant Games of America were held recently from July 28 – 31 inGrand Rapids, Michigan. The games are a series of athletic events that highlight the lifesaving benefits of organ donation while also building awareness surrounding the need for more registered donors. Thousands of transplant recipients, living donors and donor family members from across the United States participated in this biennial event.
Mike Henderson, ILEB Hospital Development Coordinator and two-time kidney transplant recipient, participated in the Transplant Games for the sixth time.Henderson won a Gold medal in the long jump, softball throw and volleyball. He also won a Silver medal in 3-on-3 basketball and the high jump.
For more information, please visit transplantgamesofamerica.org.
Orbis International and its Flying Eye Hospital
The Indiana Lions Eye Bank proudly participates in providing eye tissue to Orbis International and its Flying Eye Hospital. The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital stopped in Indianapolis for a public relations event while on its way to Trujillo, Peru, its last mission for 2011.
The Flying Eye Hospital is an extension of Orbis International; it has flown to 85 different countries since its inception in 1982. It provides eye care and ocular surgeries for several diseases including corneal blindness, as well as training for the local surgeons/physicians in the areas to which it serves.
The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is just what its name suggests. This DC-10 jet aircraft has been converted to allow for a 48-seat classroom, an exam/laser treatment/computerized surgical training area, a surgical operating suite with sterilization area and a 3-bed recovery room.
More information about Orbis and the Flying Eye Hospital can be found at http://orbis.org
Cornea Transplant Recipient Louis Almeida
While on a break from a construction site one sunny afternoon in Quito, Ecuador, a young stone mason shared his story of vision impairment with two brothers, and as a result his life has been changed forever.
Marianne Price, Ph. D. MBA
Nurse Grateful for the Gift of Sight
To look at Kathy Sojka one can’t miss the joy in her spirit and the gratitude in her heart. After talking to her, one learns quickly that not a day goes by that Sojka doesn't use one of the most precious gifts she has ever received. That gift is the gift of sight!
After battling for decades with a debilitating eye disease, in 2004 Sojka received a cornea transplant.
Struggling with the Disease
After being diagnosed in 1978, she struggled with the disease for more than two decades. Over the course of the years, the disease worsened as well as her vision.
Enjoying Hobbies, Relishing Life
Sojka is back to enjoying her hobbies of reading, painting and sewing.
Saint Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point recently celebrated National Donor Sabbath with Mass. Father Tony Janik spearheaded the event that was attended by many staff members along with President David F. Ruskowski.
National Donor Sabbath is part of a donation initiative launched by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1997. Observed on Friday through Sunday two weekends before Thanksgiving, the three-day designation seeks to include the days of worship of major religions practiced in the United States.
Donation and transplant professionals join faith communities to focus on the lifesaving and enhancing gifts passed to others through organ, eye and tissue donation. Many people turn to their faith leaders for help when dealing with life and death issues. Nearly every religion in the United States officially supports organ and tissue donation or supports the individual choices of its members. Those who donate heal and strengthen not just their recipients, but families, friends, and the larger community.
Father Tony stated, “There are more than 100,000 people waiting nationwide for a lifesaving organ transplant. One organ, eye and tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 25 people.”
Susan Colias works in the Employee Assistance Program Department at Saint Anthony and she shared her personal experience as a corneal transplant recipient. She inherited Fuch’s Dystrophy, a genetic eye disease. The disease would eventually start to take away her eyesight in the form of cloudy and painful corneas.
After receiving her corneal transplants in 2005, Susan was able to return to work in a little more than three weeks with crystal clear vision. Susan stated, “When I was off recovering, I would take long walks in a nearby park with my husband, Jim, and Beagle, Indy, and was just amazed at the color of the trees as I had not had clear vision for what seemed like years. I still go out sometimes early in the morning when the sun is coming up and just sit on my steps and enjoy another one of God’s wonders.”
Susan also indicated that through the gift of corneal donation she’s been able to see her three children, Nancy, Meredith and Matt, all graduate from college. She’s also witnessed her daughter walk down the isle as a beautiful bride and in 2010 looks forward to the birth of her first grandchild.
ILEB would like to thank Father Tony Janik, Susan Colias and the Organ & Tissue Donation Committee at Saint Anthony Medical Center for their support of organ, eye and tissue donation.
The Rose Bowl Parade had a float sponsored by Donate Life America which was titled "New Life Rises". This float represented donors and their families from across the U.S. It was represented in a local level by Lutheran Hospital of Fort Wayne who sponsored a rose for each of their donor families who donated at their facility in 2008. Each rose vial was personalized for the specific donor family that wished to participate and sent to CA. Joann Nixon, a donor wife and donor mom from Fort Wayne, read each of the names of the donors as the roses were placed onto the float in CA.
A second set of vials were made for a Donor Ceremony held at Lutheran Heart Pavilion Lobby on Sunday, January 24, 2010 and given to the families as a remembrance of their special person. Joann was also guest speaker at this ceremony. Lutheran Hospital has honored their donor families in a very special way through this awe inspiring event.