PITTSBURGH, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York, will usher in 2011 with active participation in the nationally televised 122nd Rose Parade, scheduled for New Year's Day in Pasadena, California. For the very first time, CORE is sponsoring the participation of a Pittsburgh-area organ donor's family, who will create a floragraph for the Donate Life float in the parade. The floragraph will commemorate the life-saving gift their son gave when he lost his life. At the same time, a 15-year-old Pennsylvania transplant recipient has written an award-winning essay that has secured a spot for her on the float.
To help celebrate their participation in the parade, CORE will conduct an event titled "Seize the Day. Celebrate Life." on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ET. At the event, CORE will introduce the family of Thomas Poliziani (an organ donor) and Brittany Grimm (a transplant recipient). The news conference will take place at CORE's Pittsburgh headquarters (204 Sigma Drive, RIDC Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15238).
"Seize the Day. Celebrate Life." pays tribute to this year's Donate Life float in the Rose Parade. The float will soar with colorful kites that inspire people to Seize the Day and register as organ, eye and tissue donors.
"During the holiday season, the focus is on brightly wrapped presents under the tree. At CORE, we can think of no better gift to give than that of a life-saving organ or tissue, and we are delighted that Pennsylvania will have such a strong presence in this year's Rose Parade," said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. "Thomas Poliziani's family is proud of his legacy because of the gift he gave someone when he donated his organs. At the same time, 15-year-old Brittany Grimm is alive today because someone else donated a heart. She is proud to carry the message that organ donation and transplantation has helped to secure a future for her. These are powerful messages, and they will be on a national stage on January 1st."
Thomas Poliziani's Legacy
Pittsburgh native Thomas Poliziani was engaged to be married when he died at the age of 34 back in 2008. At the time of his death, Tom's family decided to donate his two kidneys so that his legacy would live on.
To pay tribute to Tom's memory and the life-changing gift he offered to someone else, the Poliziani family will create a floragraph portrait of him, which is made of flowers. That portrait will be one of 60 floragraphs that will adorn the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade this year. Each one commemorates an organ donor from across the country.
The floragraph will be on display at CORE's news conference on December 16 in Pittsburgh.
Brittany Grimm's Story
Brittany Grimm was 10 years old when doctors diagnosed her with a rare heart condition that affects about one in 100,000 people. Doctors ultimately told Brittany and her parents that she would need a heart transplant. She was admitted to a cardiac intensive care unit and placed on a transplant waiting list.
Through CORE, doctors were able to find a suitable donor, and Brittany was given a new lease on life. Today, she travels to schools and organizations in her community to talk about her story. Her goal is to inspire others to become organ donors.
Brittany wrote an essay about her successful heart transplant, and her essay was chosen by float organizers, which enabled her to become a rider on the Donate Life float in the 2011 Rose Parade.
Brittany's winning essay will be available for review at the news conference.
The 2011 Rose Parade
The 2011 Rose Parade will be broadcast nationally (ABC, NBC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, and Univision) on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. ET from Pasadena, California. The parade is also seen in more than 200 other countries.
A Call to Action
With its commitment to raise awareness of the need for organ donation in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York, CORE will renew its call for people to become an organ donor during the holiday season at "Seize the Day. Celebrate Life."
"Organ donors have a dramatic impact on the lives of others," Stuart added. "In fact, CORE's research indicates that a single organ and tissue donor may have a direct impact on as many as 50 people. The donation of an organ can help someone through a life-saving transplant. The transplantation of tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain."
For more information, visit CORE at www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPO) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissue and eyes for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.
SOURCE The Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE)