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Donate Life Rose Parade Float

Cedars-Sinai Transplant Donors and Recipients Take Part in Rose Parade Float

Cedars-Sinai transplant donors and recipients, as well as staff members of the Comprehensive Transplant Center, were among the 70 medical center volunteers who helped put the bloom on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float for New Year's Day.

Placing the finishing touches on the float, called "Giving from the Heart," were Andrew Klein, M.D., medical director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center, and Steven Colquhoun, M.D., surgical director of Liver Transplantation. They "planted" 10 roses on the float that were dedicated by the Comprehensive Transplant Center to past and present recipients and donors in each of the five programs at the transplant center.

Also taking part in the decorating was Keith Karzin, a 45-year-old Valencia resident who donated half of his liver to his mother-in-law in 2003 at Cedars-Sinai. In recognition of his donation, Karzin was selected to represent the medical center on the Donate Life float.

(pictured l-r) Dr. Klein is joined by liver donor Keith Karzin, liver recipient Sharon Dziubala and Dr. Colquhoun inside the Rose Palace.

"It's an honor and I think it's important because the word needs to get out that people have the power to save lives," says Karzin, who was joined at the parade by his mother-in-law, Sharon Dziubala, who is now doing well.

More than 92,000 Americans currently await life-saving organ transplants, with 17 people dying each day due to the shortage of donated organs, according to Donate Life America, the national organization for donation and transplantation.

The 2007 Donate Life float focused on the "donor" side of the donation story, with all float riders being a living organ donor, a blood or marrow donor, or a family member of a deceased organ or tissue donor. The float featured 23 riders from 11 states and Canada who were all living donors or donor family members.

OneLegacy, the transplant donor network serving Southern California, coordinated the Donate Life Rose Parade float, supported by dozens of official partners from across the nation. Cedars-Sinai's Comprehensive Transplant Center has been a partner with Donate Life during each of the last four parades that Donate Life has sponsored.

A total of 70 Cedars-Sinai volunteers, including staff, transplant recipients and donors, gathered together in the Rose Palace to decorate the Donate Life float.