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Los Angeles Husband and Father to be Honored as an Organ and Tissue Donor Hero on the Donate Life Float in the 2019 Rose Parade®

November 28, 2018

POMONA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 28, 2018--Steve Sepulveda, a husband and father in Los Angeles with a generous spirit and big heart, will be honored as a tissue donor on the 2019 Donate Life float, which will be part of the 2019 Rose Parade®. Today Steve’s family put the finishing touches on a floral portrait of his likeness, called a floragraph, during a special unveiling ceremony with Donate Life California at the Pomona office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Donate Life float, “Rhythm of the Heart,” highlights the musical diversity and rhythms of Africa and will ride down the streets of Pasadena during the 130th Rose Parade® on Jan. 1, 2019.

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(Graphic: Business Wire)

Growing up Steve was a great child with a lot of energy. He loved to play high school football and basketball. He attended Humboldt University after high school. Steve and his spouse started dating a few years after college. They were married for 17 years and had two beautiful young daughters. His sister-in-law works at the DMV’s Pomona field office. Steve lost his father in 1987 and became a support system to his younger sibling and mother. Steve enjoyed family time, golf, camping, taking his girls to the parks and pools, and dates with his wife. Steve passed away in 2013 from an enlarged heart and became a tissue donor.

Steve’s family jests that, “Steve had a big heart, and his decision to become a donor showed it. Steve was the type of person if you needed help with anything, he would do what he could to be of assistance in any way. Steve would feel comfort knowing his donations have helped others, and these people were helped; and he was able to contribute. He is no longer with us; but in a way, he is still part of this world.”

The DMV and Donate Life California became state-authorized partners in 2006. Since then, more than 15 million Californians have signed up to save lives by registering as organ, eye and tissue donors, 95 percent of whom checked “YES!” at the DMV.

“Steve Sepulveda’s decision to register as an organ and tissue donor to help others illustrates the impact of the special partnership between the DMV and Donate Life California,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “I would like to personally thank Donate Life California for honoring a DMV family member on the Donate Life Rose Parade float.”

“This year’s theme, Rhythm of the Heart, is a powerful theme that shares how the healing power of music can bring healing to donors and recipients alike and is a metaphor for the rhythm of life that connects us all,” said Tom Mone, Donate Life California board chair, chairman of the Donate Life float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “We are grateful for the great partnership we have with the 172 California DMV offices, which, every day, help us spread the word about the lifesaving power of organ, eye and tissue donation. We would like to thank them for their continuous support and especially for highlighting the stories of local donors like Steve at one of the biggest stages in the U.S., the Rose Parade.”

Almost 22,000 people in California await lifesaving organ transplants. Despite the vital need, only about 47 percent of adults in California are signed up to be organ, eye and tissue donors. In addition to the DMV, signup on the registry is available at donateLIFEcalifornia.org.

Each day in the U.S. 20 people die waiting because the organ they needed did not come available in time. Organs needed for transplant are heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas or intestine.

Tissue transplants, meanwhile, save and heal lives. Tissues for transplant include cornea, skin, heart valves, bone tissue, tendons, veins, ligaments and cartilage. More than a million tissue transplants are done each year, and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising. Corneal transplants restore sight to nearly 50,000 people each year.

Fast Facts from Donate Life California:

One in five on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list lives in California. All major religions support or permit organ, eye and tissue donation. You’re never too old or sick to be a registered organ, eye and tissue donor.

Additional media contact: Tania Llavaneras, OneLegacy, tllavaneras@onelegacy.org, 213-503-9285

About theDonate Life float in the 2019 Rose Parade®:

Celebrating its 16th year, the Donate Life Rose Parade® float continues its mission to save and heal lives by sharing the gift of life and delivering the message of organ, eye and tissue donation to the world. Families of deceased donors are honored to see their loved ones’ floral images highlighted as part of the float. Living donors and recipients bring the float to life by riding or walking beside the float. This year’s parade theme, Rhythm of the Heart, celebrates the power of music in bringing us together.

The 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade® float highlights the musical diversity and rhythms of Africa. Djembe drums from Senegal along with a Kuba drum from the Congo will carefully integrate 44 floral portraits in their beautiful design, honoring the brave lives of deceased donors. Overlooking the floragraphs is a dramatic double Senufo mask from the Ivory Coast that gives thanks to ancestors and remembers those who have gone before. The double face suggests male and female, past and present generations, as well as the interconnectedness of all of those who have been touched by the power of donation. Twenty-six living donors or transplant recipients ride or walk beside the float, gathering around the drums, a giant marimba from Ghana and an exotic kora from Burkina Faso. The kora and marimba play important parts in the passing down of stories of previous generations in song. Rising over the rear of the float are spectacular Chiwara headdress from Mali; these stylized antelope headdresses are featured in dances that teach youth the value of community in the same way the donation and transplantation community come together to share the importance of donation.

About Donate Life California

Donate Life California is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Individuals can add their name to the registry by checking “YES!” every time they renew/apply for their driver license or ID card at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This ensures their desire to donate life will be carried out. A pink “DONOR” dot is added to their driver license or ID as a symbol of their decision. Individuals can also sign up online at donateLIFEcalifornia.org or doneVIDAcalifornia.org. As a public service, the registry ensures all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. The registry is administered by Donate Life California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organizations: Donor Network West, Lifesharing, OneLegacy and Sierra Donor Services.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181128005768/en/

CONTACT: Megan MacNee, 951-452-7906,megan@donatelifecalifornia.org

Photos & Other Media Resources:http://bit.ly/2OUZtwC

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: SENIORS WOMEN OTHER CONSUMER RELIGION HEALTH OTHER HEALTH PHILANTHROPY PARENTING TEENS OTHER PHILANTHROPY CONSUMER FAMILY GAY & LESBIAN FOUNDATION FUND RAISING MEN

SOURCE: Donate Life California

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/28/2018 03:56 PM/DISC: 11/28/2018 03:56 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181128005768/en

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