PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) will honor the unique legacy of twin sisters Mia Adriano and Irene Atencio on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day. While twins share many qualities, Irene and Mia share something rare: a part of each other. Mia donated tissue at the time of her death. One of her donated tendons went to her twin sister, Irene, to repair her torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Mia, Irene, and their family immigrated to Los Angeles from the Philippines in 1985. The sisters signed up to be organ and tissue donors at their local Department of Motor Vehicles when they got their driver's licenses, and never thought about donation again.
A year ago, Mia's headaches were traced to a blood clot in her brain, possibly caused by an aneurism. During this time, Irene injured her right knee and was told she needed donated tissue to reconstruct her ACL. Then, after several unsuccessful surgeries, Mia died at age 42 and became a tissue donor.
Mia's gift to her sister was a "directed donation," where a deceased donor's tissue is directed to another family member or close friend. MTF worked with OneLegacy, the organ and tissue procurement agency in Los Angeles, to coordinate Mia's donation.
"I am thankful for my sister's gift, and honored to represent tissue donation and transplant on this year's float," said Irene. "I encourage all people, and especially members of the Filipino community, to consider donation. My sister generously gave to others in life and in death."
"My sister was always my best friend and soul mate," said Irene. "I can't believe I have my sister's tissue in my right knee, growing as my own. Now I will have a part of her inside me forever."
MTF, the nation's leading tissue bank, is one of 120 sponsors of The Donate Life Rose Parade float. The float's theme this year is Seize The Day, encouraging parade viewers to register in their states to be organ and tissue donors, helping to save and improve the lives of thousands of recipients yearly. For more information, please visit these websites:
Cindy Gordon, Insight Communication
SOURCE Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation