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Alabama float in Rose Parade endorses organ donation

Mary Lynne Weight, President of Madison Hospital, signs a rose vial for Alabama Organ Center's float in the Rose Parade. Wright sits near a rendering of the float. CONTRIBUTED
Mary Lynne Weight, President of Madison Hospital, signs a rose vial for Alabama Organ Center’s float in the Rose Parade. Wright sits near a rendering of the float. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – When the Tournament of Roses Parade winds through Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day, one float will have Mary Lynne Wright’s signature on a rose vial.
Wright, president of Madison Hospital, is joining other Alabama hospital administrators in promoting organ donation. The executives have signed a vial holding a rose that will ride on the Alabama Organ Center’s parade float.
“We invite our hospital partners to participate in the CEO rose vial signings. The roses will become part of the dedication garden on the float,” Brie Hollander said. Hollander works as the center’s hospital/community liaison.
The Rose Parade attracts millions of viewers, so the float is an excellent medium to promote awareness, Hollander said.
The 2017 float, “Teammates in Life,” depicts a Polynesian catamaran propelled by 24 organ/transplant recipients. The vessel’s sails will feature 60 floral portraits of donors, interwoven with Polynesian designs and patterns.
“Vanderbilt University has a satellite kidney transplant clinic on our campus,” Wright said. “It’s staggering to see the number of people from our community and surrounding area that are in their program.”
“When I die, my organs don’t need to die with me … they need to go to others so they can live,” Wright said.
Alabama Organ Center “provides families an opportunity to donate organs and tissues, to support these families regardless of their decision and to promote equitable utilization of these gifts to others,” Hollander said.
The center facilitates the donor process and coordinates recovery of organs and tissues for transplantation and research. “Alabama Organ Center is committed to increasing knowledge about organ and tissue donation and transplantation, while eliminating common misconceptions,” Hollander said.
Individuals can mark “Yes” for organ donation on driver’s licenses. “You can also register via our paper brochure or online at alabamaorgancenter.org,” Hollander said. “Most importantly, tell your family your wishes. If an individual is not registered to be a donor, then the decision falls to the family.”
“All hospitals play an important role in organ, eye and tissue donation and supporting the families. Donation normally occurs after a sudden, unexpected loss and families require lots of support and guidance,” Wright said.
For more information, visit donatelifefloat.org.

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