“Stars of Life” Float Honors Heroes of Organ and Tissue Donation

<b>“Stars of Life” Float Honors Heroes of Organ and Tissue Donation</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Americans impacted by organ and tissue donation joined to celebrate the cause on Jan. 1 in the Tournament of Roses Parade aboard the Donate Life “Stars of Life” float. Each year, the float is built as a tribute to the millions of people touched by organ, tissue and blood donation, including living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates.

Among the participants involved with this year’s float were two distinct individuals sponsored by AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures. May Chen, from Fremont, Calif., saw her life changed as a tissue recipient, and Dr. Richard Kagan, a seasoned burn care surgeon in Cincinnati, works daily to further the cause of organ and tissue donation.

Chen, a skilled martial artist who competes at international levels, is a popular Tai Chi instructor in California and is president of Health Qigong Association USA. Several years ago, a severe knee injury threatened to end her career altogether, until a tissue transplant gave her new hope.

Chen’s knee was saved after she received a fresh tissue transplant from a young donor who had been killed in a car accident. She participated in the float as one of 26 float riders.

“Everything I’ve done since the transplant, and all that’s to come, are because of the tissue donor family,” said Chen. “The allograft gave me a second chance to fulfill an unrealized destiny.”

Across the country from Chen, Dr. Kagan works as the Chief of Staff at Cincinnati’s Shriners Hospital and Director of Adult Burn Care at University Hospital. Kagan is responsible for giving thousands of patients the chance to live despite life-threatening burns, often using allograft skin -; a gift from deceased human donors.

Kagan was included as one of 14 “Walk of Fame” stars within the float, which honored those who’ve made a lasting impact on organ and tissue donation. He was selected for his progressive research and dedication to the promotion of tissue donation.

Donate Life’s 26 float riders were immersed in a shower of stars climbing more than 30 feet in the air, representing all the people who make the gift of life possible.

Each year, millions of organ and tissue recipients are impacted by the gift of donation. It is simple to register to be a donor, by visiting Donate Life America at www.donatelife.net.

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