Local featured in Rose Parade as transplant recipient

Posted at 10:16 AM, Jan 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-02 10:16:35-05

A local kidney transplant recipient is representing Western New York Monday morning as a rider on the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade float.

The float has become the world's most visible campaign for organ, eye and tissue donation. Unyts - a local organization committed to enhancing and saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donations - joins the list of almost 50 other organizations across the country who support the float and are dedicated to increasing these kinds of donations.

"We are proud to stand beside fellow sponsors in support of the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade float and shine a spotlight on the incredible impact organ, eye and tissue donation has had in WNY," said President and CEO of Unyts Mark Simon. "It is an honor to represent our community at the Rose Parade and share the stories of our recipients, donors and donor families who gave the ultimate gift - the gift of life. We hope their stories, stories like Barbara Breckenridge's, will inspire the millions of parade viewers on January 1 to add registering as a donor to their list of resolutions for 2017."

This year's Rose Parade theme is "Echoes of Success." The Donate Life float, Teammates in Life, will feature several donors and transplant recipients.

According to Unyts, more than 120,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list today and over 10% of those people are in New York State. As a result, an average of 22 die every day due to a lack of organs available. One organ donor can save and hale up to 75 other people through needed organs, heart valves, corneas, skin, bone and tendons.

If you are interested in becoming a donor, visit www.unyts.org/checkyes and complete a simple enrollment form, or visit your local DMV.