WellStar, LifeLink present float in Rose Parade

Marietta-based WellStar Health System and LifeLink of Georgia will present the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 1.

To honor organ, eye and tissue donors, “The Gift of Time” float will include a dedication garden made up of roses with notes from officials around the nation to celebrate transplant recipients, honor donors and thank individuals and groups who support and take part in the donation and transplant community.

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The float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico.

Celebrating the gift of life, costumed riders will sit alongside the jungle, against stone carvings, drawing on the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey.

Families and friends of deceased donors will see their loved ones’ floral images highlighted as a part of the float.

Living donors and recipients will ride or walk beside the float.

Marietta-based WellStar Health System and LifeLink of Georgia will provide the Donate Life float as a part of the Rose Parade on Jan. 1. Artist’s rendering courtesy of WellStar

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In addition to the 40 million viewers who watch the Rose Parade on TV and along the parade route, hundreds of events are held in cities and towns around the nation to complete the “floragraphs” (floral portraits) of donors that adorn the float.

WellStar works closely with LifeLink Georgia, a not-for-profit organization that coordinates the recovery of lifesaving and life-enhancing organs and tissue for transplantation therapy.

Also a not-for-profit, WellStar Health System is the largest health system in Georgia, consisting of WellStar Medical Group, 250 medical office locations, outpatient centers, health parks, a pediatric center, nursing centers, hospice, homecare and 11 hospitals.

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Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ and tissue donors.

Anyone can be a potential donor — regardless of age or medical history.

A single donor can save or improve the lives of nearly 75 people.

To learn more about becoming a donor, visit DonateLifeGeorgia.org.