Tissue donor and recipient will represent LifeNet Health on Donate Life New Year’s Day Rose Parade float
Virginia Beach, Va. (Dec. 29, 2021) — Tyler Spann, a teenager who became a tissue donor after his death in 2018, will represent LifeNet Health on the 2022 Donate Life float in the New Year’s Day Rose Parade. Additionally, Kim McMahon, a tissue recipient, has been selected to ride on the float on Jan. 1.
The parade float calls attention to a vital issue: More than 100,000 Americans are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Donate Life America is committed to motivating the public to support organ, eye, and tissue donation. The organization offers an easy process to sign up as a donor at RegisterMe.org. LifeNet Health, which facilitates organ transplants in Virginia and provides tissue for transplants across the United States and around the world, shares this commitment. Tyler and Kim have been selected as Rose Parade participants to represent the millions of people touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Tyler, who lived in Tennessee, will be honored by a floragraph, a portrait made from all-natural materials, during the parade. He died tragically after a riptide pulled him from shore during a vacation in Florida. Afterward, his family made the selfless decision to help others by donating his tissue. “Tyler would have wanted to be a donor and help someone,” his mother, Angie, said. “I am so proud of him.”
Tyler’s family, friends, and former coaches helped complete his floragraph in October.
Kim was nominated by LifeNet Health to represent the American Association of Tissue Banks as a rider on the 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Her involvement in organ, eye, and tissue donation began when her 16-year-old son William suddenly needed a liver transplant near the end of 2004. He received a life-saving transplant, but unfortunately a second transplant became necessary, and William died in May 2005. Kim feels that if one more donor had been registered, her son might be alive today.
She became a tissue recipient in 2021 when donor bone was used to strengthen her spine.
The Rose Parade, which takes place in Pasadena, Calif., is a New Year's Day tradition for millions around the world. This year marks the 133rd for the event, which is broadcast on several networks. Viewers can watch the parade starting at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST. The Donate Life Float has been part of the parade since 2004.