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12/19/2011
IOWA NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION

IOWANS WITH CONNECTIONS TO ORGAN & TISSUE DONATION TO BE FEATURED ON ROSE PARADE FLOAT

JOHNSTON, IA – Dec. 16, 2011 – Donate Life's 2012 Rose Parade float entry inspires us to just imagine "...One More Day" when donor families are reunited with loved ones, transplant recipients thrive, and living and registered donors step forward so that a life-saving transplant is available to everyone in need.

On Jan. 2, 2012, one Iowa float rider and one Iowa floragraph honoree will join transplant recipients, living donors, and family members of deceased donors from throughout the country to honor the preciousness of ”...One More Day” on the ninth Donate Life Rose Parade float entry.


FLOAT RIDER


Kidney Recipient

Age 66 ~ Independence, IA

Retired CEO, Buchanan County Health Center

Sponsored by Iowa Donor Network

In 1967, Robert Richard was drafted into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, and the next year flew to Vietnam. Due to advanced kidney disease, attributed to his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam, Robert received an honorable discharge in 1970. In 1999, Robert's kidneys deteriorated to the point of needing dialysis. His kidney transplant in June 2000 was the result of a life-saving gift from a special friend and co-worker. Robert's donated kidney continues to function extremely well. Robert and his wife Kathy have been married 45 years, with four grown children and six grandchildren. "We are very blessed by this gift," said Robert.

Bob's Story

Robert J. Richard grew up in Dubuque, IA, admiring his parents' values and emulating their characters and Catholic tradition of service. One of their pieces of advice became the motto for Robert's life: "Whether you're at a place for a year, or just for an hour, leave it better than it was when you first came."

In the fall of 1962, Robert met his wife Kathy during their nursing education program. They were married in 1966, just one year before Robert was drafted as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps at the surgical unit of Tripler Medical Center in Honolulu.

In 1968, Robert was promoted to first lieutenant and flew to Vietnam for a year, where he was granted the rank of captain, and returned to Texas in 1969. Due to advanced kidney disease, attributed to his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam, Robert spent a year there before receiving an honorable discharge in 1970.

Robert went back to his nursing duties in Dubuque, and five years later obtained a master's degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa. He worked in health planning in Oshkosh, Wisconsin before becoming the chief executive officer at Buchanan County Health Center in Independence, Iowa for 34 years, retiring in September of 2010. Throughout his professional career, Robert also did volunteer work in Cambodia and Russia.

In late 1999, Robert's kidneys deteriorated to the point of needing renal dialysis. His kidney transplant at the University of Iowa Transplantation Service in Iowa City, Iowa on June 29, 2000 was the result of a life-saving gift from a special friend and co-worker, Sharon Bainbridge. Surgery and recovery were a success for both of them, and Robert's donated kidney continues to function extremely well. "We are very blessed by this gift and by Sharon and her husband's friendship of many years," said Robert.

For the last nine years, Robert has enjoyed the distinct opportunity to be involved with Iowa Donor Network, serving on their Board of Directors, the last three of which have been as Chairman of the Board. Additionally, he has served on the Building Committee, Finance Committee, Executive Committee, and Medical Advisory Committee.

Robert and Kathy have been married 45 years, and have been blessed with four grown children and 6 wonderful grandchildren.

"I am very grateful for the expertise of everyone associated with transplant services, and for the privilege of being a Donate Life representative in the Rose Parade. I have received many awards in my personal and professional life, of which this honor ranks near the top."




FLORAGRAPH HONOREE


Organ & Eye Donor

Age 27 ~ Jefferson, IA


Honored by Iowa Donor Network

A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, Nicole Lynn Richardson had a passion for providing legal representation for society's vulnerable populations. Nicole died in an accident in Grand Junction, Colo. on April 25, 2006. Nicole's commitment to organ donation was evident on her driver's license, and as a result her lungs, kidneys, heart, pancreas, liver and corneas have
saved or enhanced the lives of seven others. Particularly meaningful to Nicole's family is that a recipient of one of Nicole's kidneys is a long-time family friend. "Being able to see what Nicole's compassion has meant to our friend has brought us considerable peace," her parents said.

Nicole's Story

Nicole Lynn Richardson was born in Iowa December 26, 1978. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, Nicole was an uncompromising crusader for justice with a passion for providing legal representation for society's vulnerable populations, especially indigent criminal defendants. During law school Nicole worked for the county public defender's office, continuing to provide client services when the office was closed during a funding crunch. She performed pro bono work for the Oregon State Public Defender, writing a clemency petition on behalf of a prison inmate.

She was a passionate and engaged law student who was involved in many student organizations, most notably her three-year participation on the Pro Bono Executive Board. Nicole is most remembered at UO Law School for building the school's Street Law program from an idea and developing its first classes in Search and Seizure and Landlord/Tenant Law. In Nicole's memory, her parents established the Nicole Richardson Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award which annually provides a cash award to a University of Oregon third-year law student who embodies the same passion and commitment to underserved populations that
Nicole did.

Nicole died in an accident in Grand Junction, Colo. on April 25, 2006. Nicole's commitment to organ donation was evident through the identification on her driver's license of her desire to be an organ donor. Nicole's lungs, kidneys, heart, pancreas, liver and corneas have saved or enhanced the lives of seven others living in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri and even Japan. Particularly meaningful to Nicole's family is that a recipient of one of Nicole's kidneys is a long-time family friend. "Being able to see what Nicole's compassion has meant to our friend, and to be able to sense her living on through him and the other recipients of her organs, has brought us considerable peace," her parents said.

Nicole's parents have also claimed as their own the causes that were important to Nicole. Through an annual golf and auction event in Iowa, they have provided funds to sustain the UO Law School award, to fund an annual training program for the Iowa Public Defender's Office and to support PAWS, an animal rights and advocacy organization. Most importantly, they have provided annual donations to the Iowa Donor Network to support organ donation activities.

"Supporting the Iowa Donor Network is as important as anything we do," the Richardsons said. "Nicole had signed up as an organ donor and we want to build on her recognition of the importance of organ donation. Our goal is to help encourage people to make a personal commitment to being an organ donor. And we want to continue to support organ donation because we have seen firsthand
how lives can be saved or improved through the gift of an organ.

"We want to keep Nicole's memory alive; we do it as a tribute to her."

More than 112,000 Americans currently await life-saving organ transplants (624 in Iowa), with 18 people dying each day due to the shortage of donated organs. Every year hundreds of thousands of people need donated eyes and tissue to prevent or cure blindness, heal burns or save limbs, and one out of three people will need donated blood in their lifetime.

“The Rose Parade offers a unique setting to inspire people to sign up with their state organ and tissue donor registry,” said Chris T. Keahi, Public Affairs Coordinator for Iowa Donor Network.

Based in North Liberty, Iowa Donor Network is the fully accredited and federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) serving Iowa. Certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, IDN coordinates with health care professionals, funeral directors and others involved in the donation process. IDN also works with donor families before, during and after donation, to educate, support, and help families work through their grief. For more
information, log on to www.IowaDonorNetwork.org, or call (800) 831-4131.

Donate Life is a national brand for donation supported by national organizations and state teams dedicated to motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors. Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life in every corner of the country are in need of life-saving and healing gifts that are possible only through organ, eye and tissue. The Donate Life Rose Parade Float national campaign is coordinated by OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery agency serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, and is supported by more than 100 official sponsors nationwide, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, tissue banks, state donor registries, transplant centers, hospitals, funeral homes and affiliated organizations. Joining OneLegacy as top-level benefactors are the Dignity Memorial® network, North America's largest network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers; the American Association of Tissue Banks
(AATB); Donate Life America; and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the National Donor Memorial.

Donate Life was awarded the Judges Special Trophy in 2008, the Queen's Trophy in 2009, and the Theme Trophy in 2010 and 2011.

Copies of float, rider and honoree photos can be downloaded from the media center at www.DonateLifeFloat.org




INTERVIEW CONTACT

Iowa Donor Network, Chris T. Keahi, Public Affairs Coordinator

Johnston, IA

Cell: 515-564-9349

Work: 800-831-4131

ckeahi@iadn.org

Continuing a tradition that began in 2008, Donate Life’s 2012 Rose Parade float entry features dozens of “floragraphs” of organ, eye and tissue donors from across the country. Together with the float’s riders, the floragraphs are the centerpiece of the float’s national media campaign.

What is a floragraph?

A floragraph is a portrait created with floral materials. The deceased organ, eye and tissue donors depicted on the floragraphs are selected by Floragraph Sponsors.

How large are the floragraphs?

The 2012 Donate Life float’s floragraphs rest on 12” x 15” oval canvases.

How are floragraphs decorated in Pasadena?

Photographs of the honored donors are converted into posterized images which are
printed and applied to wood. The portraits are then decorated in a method akin to “color by numbers”. Experienced detail artists guide volunteers – many of them members of the donor’s family and all touched by organ and tissue donation – through the deeply meaningful process of bringing the floragraphs to life. Many floragraph families will decorate their loved ones’ images on Dec. 3, 10 or 17. All are asked to report to Rosemont Pavilion at 10am for decorating.

How are floragraphs decorated locally?

Families who cannot come to Pasadena prior to Christmas may complete the decoration of their floragraph locally. After the first two decorating weekends, the Float Committee will ship the floragraphs – fully decorated except for the eyebrows – to the Floragraph Sponsor for completion at a local media event. An artist’s paintbrush, organic material and glue will be included with the floragraph. Local floragraph decorating events must be scheduled Dec 10-27.

What happens to the floragraphs after the Rose Parade?

In the weeks following the parade, the floragraphs are recovered from the float and shipped to the Floragraph Sponsor so that it can be framed and returned to the floragraph family in a meaningful way.


“…One More Day”

Through their life-changing experiences, the families of organ and tissue donors, living donors, and recipients of lifesaving transplants know intimately the preciousness of time. On Jan. 2, 2012, transplant recipients, living donors, and family members of deceased donors will join together to honor the preciousness of ...One More Day on the ninth Donate Life Rose Parade float entry.

Inspired by floral clocks and clock towers from around the world, the 2012 Donate Life Rose Parade float will carry 28 riders representing deceased organ, eye and tissue donors, living donors, and transplant recipients. Six enormous
floral timepieces will be adorned with 72 memorial "floragraphs" (floral portraits) of deceased donors whose gifts gave life and time to so many. A rose dedication garden honors more than 3,000 people worldwide, with each rose bearing a vial with a personal message honoring a loved one. Anchoring the float is a 33-foot clock tower with an animated sun/moon dial reminding us to make each passing day count.

Just as every day counts, so does every donation opportunity. Donate Life hopes that anyone who has not yet registered will be inspired by Donate Life's float to join the 100 million Americans who have checked 'Yes' for donation when applying for or renewing their driver's license or identification card. Sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor today by visiting www.donatelife.net.

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Iowa Donor Network, 8191 Birchwood Court, Suite A Johnston, IA 50131
www.IowaDonorNetwork.org & www.IowaDonorRegistry.org


(Contact: Chris T. Keahi (800) 831-4131, (515) 564-9349, ckeahi@iadn.org)

 

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