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National News

Congratulations to East Alabama Medical Center (EMAC) for achieving Gold status for the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign Phase IV!! To achieve this award, EMAC hosted donor registry drives, held a flag raising ceremony for National Donate Life Month, enlisted hospital auxiliary / volunteers in organ donation awareness events, included donation information in new employee orientation, participated in National Blue & Green Day and included donation and transplantation articles in their publications. Thank you for the support! To learn more about the Hospital Campaign initiative, visit

organdonor.gov | Hospital Campaign Phase IV
Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) Hospital Campaign.


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Savannah Sides appeared on the Donate Life Rose Parade float among 43 other organ, eye and tissue donors who in their death, saved, healed and gave hope to thousands of people in need. Savannah's family will complete Savannah's memorial "floragraph" portrait at an event held at Children's of Alabama on Friday, November 17th, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Only organic materials, such as spices, seeds, and crushed flowers are used to create floragraphs.

This year's float entry, The Gift of Time, reflects the parade's theme, "Making a Difference," by celebrating the power of kindness and the people in our communities that are selflessly making a positive difference in our lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. The Gift of Time is truly the greatest gift any of us can bequeath to a waiting recipient, showcasing the power that each of us has to help one another.

The Gift of Time depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. The float celebrates the gift of life as 16 costumed riders sit alongside the jungle, against stone carvings, drawing on a strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life's journey. The monumental Aztec calendar draws the eye to the center of the float, where 44 donors are honored with floragraphs. This ancient calendar reminds us the enduring, life-saving power of the generosity of donors and families. Alongside the float, eight living donors and recipients carry baskets of fruit and flowers in celebration of the renewed life they have shared with one another and the world. The beauty, richness, and potential of life is represented by the vivid flock of macaws perched over the lush floral canopies, ready to take flight.

"The Rose Parade gives the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation community an opportunity to come together as a team to inspire millions of viewers to support their fellow Americans by registering as donors," said Chris Meeks, executive director of the Alabama Organ Center, Alabama's non-profit organ and tissue recovery agency that coordinated Savannah's donation. "There is no better way to make a difference in someone's life than through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. The 2018 float beautifully conveys the gift of time and the magnitude of the gift."

At the young age of 5, Savannah told her parents that she wanted to help others through donation. Sadly, one month after that important conversation, Savannah was killed in a tragic car accident. When the doctors told Savannah's family that there was no brain activity, her dad remembered her words, "l won't need them when I get to heaven." He asked the doctors if she could help somebody. That day, Savannah's selfless decision saved five lives through organ and tissue donation and allowed two others to receive the gift of sight.

"The Alabama Organ Center is proud to sponsor Savannah as our 2018 honoree on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float," states Meeks. "She exemplifies the generous nature of donors and their families." The 2018 Rose Parade was held on Monday, January 1. The float is an amazing tribute, to this generous child's life and all organ, eye and tissue donors.


MOBILE, Alabama — Josh Braswelh appeared on the Donate Life Rose Parade float among 60 other organ, eye and tissue donors who in their death, saved, healed and gave hope to thousands of people in need. Josh's family and friends completed Josh's memorial "floragraph" portrait at an event held at the USA Faculty Club, November 14th at 5:30 p.m. Only organic materials, such as spices, seeds, and crushed flowers are used to create floragraphs.

This year's float entry, Teammates in Life, reflects the parade's theme, UEchoes of Success" by reminding us that no one succeeds alone. We all thrive by working together and pulling the same direction. Donors save the lives of grateful recipients and help families heal, and it is the large community of registered donors that makes it possible to save thousands of lives across the country each year.

Teammates in Life depicts a spectacular Polynesian catamaran, which will be propelled by a team of 24 organ, eye and tissue transplant recipients rowing in unison with strength gained from their donors. The sails of the vessel will feature 60 floral portraits of donors interwoven with Polynesian designs and patterns. Just as the donor's gifts empower the lives of others, the sails help power the catamaran on its journey. Twelve living donors will walk alongside the float carrying flowers in celebration of the life they have given to others and the quality of life they continue to enjoy themselves. The ocean waves will showcase 1,000 white Akito roses, individually dedicated in memory or honor of those touched by donation. Vibrant birds perch amongst a lush landscape of tropical flowers and palm trees while a pair of tikis, representing lights and life, abundance and peace, peer out of the jungle. The float will exude life with colorful, exotic bloom grown in Hawaii especially for the occasion.

"The Rose Parade gives the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation community an opportunity to come together as a team to inspire millions of viewers to support their fellow Americans by registering as donors," said Chris Meeks, executive director of the Alabama Organ Center, Alabama's non-profit organ and tissue recovery agency that coordinated Josh's donation. "There is a clear symbolic association between the team effort needed to propel the catamaran and the selflessness of deceased donors and their families providing life-saving and life-enhancing gifts to grateful recipients. Organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation is truly a team effort, and the 2017 float conveys that beautifully."

Since Josh Braswell dedicated his life to helping others, organ donation was a natural act of kindness for him. After high school, Josh enrolled at the University of South Alabama and earned his certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. Josh went on to further his medical career by working part time at Mobile Infirmary Hospital and attending nursing school where he was presented with various awards at graduation. It was during this time period in his life that he informed his parents of his decision to become an organ donor. Blessed with a spirit as bright as his ever present smile, Josh was always generous until his last day on earth.

In June 2003, Josh sustained injuries in an automobile accident that left his parents with a heart wrenching decision, a decision that would affect the lives of five other individuals. Josh's parents honored his decision to be an organ donor. That decision impacted the lives of five people who are the grateful recipients of Josh's organs. "The Alabama Organ Center is proud to sponsor Josh as our 2017 honoree on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float," states Meeks.

The 2017 Rose Parade was held on Monday, January 2nd. The float is an amazing tribute, to this generous young man's life and all organ, eye and tissue donors.

Joey Gase, Xfinity Series NASCAR Driver Honored Amber Warren.

Joey made the courageous decision to donate his mother's organs and since then he has become an advocate for organ donation.

Joey drove the #52 in the May 2nd NASCAR race at Talladega. The Alabama Organ Center and Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency were the primary sponsors of the "Donate Life" car. The Donate Life logo was prominently displayed on the hood and a picture of Amber Warren, an organ donor at the age of 14, was pictured on the trunk lid. The Warren family attended the May 2nd race, cheering on the "Donate Life" care, knowing that Amber's tragic death helped others through organ donation.

Representing more than 120 million registered organ, eye, and tissue donors across the nation, the 13th Donate Life Rose Parade float, "Treasure Life's Journey," was unveiled at the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations' annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The float and its many honored participants proudly represented the 2016 Rose Parade theme, "Find Your Adventure."

Like an oasis discovered amidst a caravan's journey across the desert, organ, eye, and tissue donation saves lives, renews hope, and sustains people, families, and communities. The float featured a colorful caravan with sixty donor medal-inspired floragraphs that honor the invaluable treasure of the gift of life. Twenty-four float riders continue to share in life's adventures through the gift of organ donation. Sixteen living donors walked beside the float carrying provisions of fruit accented with flowers, symbolizing the life-sustaining gifts that have been given. And, Dedicated Roses placed by families created floral jewels that ornament the base of the float.

For the 5th consecutive year, the Alabama Organ Center sponsored a floragraph (portrait of a deceased donor), on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. The 2016 Rose Parade Honoree was Brian Faulkner.

Brian Faulkner will always be remembered for his kind smile, his caring heart, his quick wit and dry sense of humor. He had numerous friends from every walk of life. Brian was an avid Auburn fan, loved music of all kinds, and enjoyed boating and anything that allowed him to be outdoors. Most of all, Brian was a devoted father to Blake, adoring husband to Heather, and the epitome of a family man. He and Blake (who was 15 at the time of Brian's death) had such a special bond. Blake adored his father and knew he could depend on his dad for anything.

Brian, a 1996 graduate of Muscle Shoals High School, studied criminal justice at the University of North Alabama. Brian began his career in the Colbert County District Attorney's office where he orchestrated grand jury cases. He served his community for four years as an Alabama State Trooper and for the last six years as a corporal for the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Brian always knew he wanted to pursue a career in investigation. He had a way of putting people at ease no matter what the situation was.

Brian was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful Sunday afternoon on March 9, 2014, when he left the road and hit a telephone pole. Brian was airlifted to Huntsville Hospital where his doctor gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. Brian spent 10 days in NICU before he was pronounced brain dead on March 18, 2014. Brian impacted so many lives, and this impact was evident during his time spent in the hospital. There were several victims and family members from other states that came to see Brian during the hospital stay. They wanted to let his family know what a kind, caring, and compassionate man he was, and how he had helped them with cases he had been assigned to. The troopers and ABI Agents did not leave Brian's side until his body was laid to rest on March 22, 2014. I knew how Brian felt about organ donation. He once said, "When I am gone, make sure everything I have can go to someone that needs it. I want someone to have a second chance at life." After death, he continues to help people through organ donation.

For Hannah Daye Riddling's family, being honored as an organ donor on the 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float is extra special. New Year's Day 2015 would have been Hannah's 21st birthday.

Hannah Ridling had a love for animals and was an avid equestrian, ranked nationally in the discipline of Eventing. On May 23, 2010, 16-year-old Hannah fell from the back of a moving vehicle and suffered a fatal brain injury. As an organ donor, her gifts gave three people a second chance at life. "Our world was shattered," says her mother Cathy. "Knowing how loving and giving Hannah was in life, she would want to continue her loving legacy in death." Hannah's family later found that she had said "yes" to organ and tissue donation when she applied for her temporary driver's licnense. When Cathy had the opportunity to meet Hannah's double lung recipient, she felt it was an affirmation of the special gift of life.

Memorialized on Hannah's headstone is a quote from an English paper that she wrote on January 7, 2010, two days before registering to become an organ donor. "Whenever I put aside my own needs and put someone else's before my own, I feel like a better person. Helping others adds to your character. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, peace, and humbleness."

Richard Ruble learned a lot about hard work from his father, who was a devoted coal miner. The son followed in his father's footsteps, working in the mines for 25 years before an on-the-job injury left him permanently disabled.

The younger Ruble, a Jasper native, also learned about the benefits of sacrifice and giving to others, and he lived a life that showed it. When the April 27, 2011, tornadoes ripped through central Alabama, Ruble prepared food for those in need and coordinated disaster recovery for Walker County. Soon after, he was named the volunteer construction coordinator for the long-term recovery committee in Walker County, and he led the reconstruction of more than 200 homes - acts which led to Ruble's receiving a commendation from Governor Robert Bentley in recognition of his efforts. When Ruble died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in January of 2013 at age 52, it was no surprise that his last act was one of sacrifice and giving hope - and life - to others. Ruble donated his kidneys at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital and saved the lives of two people.

Ruble was selected by the Alabama Organ Center (AOC) to represent Alabama on the Donate Life float in the 2014 Rose Parade on New Year's Day. Ruble's family, friends and neighbors put the finishing touches on a floragraph of Ruble that adorned the float Saturday, November 2nd, after the first Ruble Run. Proceeds from the run benefitted the educational efforts of the Alabama Organ Center (AOC) and the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle campaign.

"When asked in the hospital about the possibility of donating his organs, there was no hesitation," said Brandon Ruble, Richard's son. "He made it clear that, if he could help others in his passing, he undoubtedly wanted to do so. "This was the third year that the AOC sponsored a floragraph on the Donate Life float. The 2014 float, "Light Up the World," featured 81 floragraphs adorning five lanterns raised almost 30 feet into the air. The flames of the second and fourth lanterns were animated to flicker to represent giving life to others.

Ruble was the only Alabamian to be featured on this year's float, and his family flew to California to participate in the Parade and other festivities with the families of other deceased donors.

"We find peace in knowing that, even though Dad is no longer here to help us or to cheer us on in the stands, we know his legacy lives on through us and in those to whom he gave a second chance at life," Brandon Ruble said.

Justin Sollohub, an Anniston police officer, was killed in the line of duty in August of 2011. "As a family we had talked about organ donation and all had the belief that donation would be our wish," Justin's Mother, Jeniffer Morris, said.

Justin's sacrifice and gift of life was celebrated at the 2013 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on January 1st. His floragraph, sponsored by the Alabama Organ Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital, was one of the 72 organ donors memorialized on the Donate Life float "Journeys of the Heart." To read more about Justin and the Donate Life Rose parade float, please click here.

Daniel Brannon's death gave life to five others through organ donation. He was one of 72 donors remembered with a memorial floragraph on the 2012 Donate Life America Rose Parade- a portrait made from flowers - sponsored by the Alabama Organ Center and the University of Alabama Hospital - on the Donate Life float."...One More Day."

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) launched its expanded National Donor Memorial Website (www.donormemorial.org) on January 5, 2009. This tribute-driven site honors organ and tissue donors in this country, highlights the impact of their gift of life on the lives of so many others, and underscores the critical importance of increasing organ donation.

National News and Information

From NBC's TODAY Show is a story of a young woman with cystic fibrosis who gets help from an unexpected source.
Angelynn, center, and her sister Rebecca, with Governor Bentley.

Angelynn Luckadoo, a 14-year-old with cystic fibrosis, got the life-saving gift of organs donated by a young woman who died of a fatal brain condition. In a poignant twist of fate, the two young women had family members in the same Alabama church. TODAY's Natalie Morales tells their affecting story.
See her story.

The February 17, 2016 edition of UAB News shares the story of two families who share joy and pain after a rare heart-double lung transplant. Please read their story below.
See her story.

Arkansas News Anchor, Anne Pressly, was an Organ Donor. Her generosity saved lives. CBS News Anchor, Katie Couric, pays tribute. See her story.

When Jason Ray, University of North Carolina mascot, was killed in a tragic accident he donated his organs so others could live. See his story.

Transplant Games Honors Donors, Recipients

Liver Donor's Family, Recipient to Meet (.pdf)

State News

Special Edition Newsletter - 2016

AOC Recovery Newsletter

2015 - Fall / Winter

2015 - Spring / Summer

2014 - Fall / Winter

2014 - Spring / Summer

2013 - Fall / Winter

2012 - Spring / Summer

2011 - November

2010 - July

2009 - Winter / Spring

2008 - Spring

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UAB Heart Lung Liver Transplant Support Group

2011 - Amber "Nikki" Davenport tragically lost her life on Sunday, April 18th. Her family generously donated her organs so that others might live. See her story.

Listen to Harvel Douglas, heart recipient, sing the National Anthem at the Huntsville Havoc hockey game on January 14, 2011. The Alabama Organ Center sponsored a Donate Life Night to promote organ and tissue donation. The night included Harvel's performance as well as an honorary puck drop by Cassie Barnby, a 12-year-old liver recipient.


Please check out the cover story in the March 2011 edition of B-metro magazine. "Ada's Place" unites the Buchanan and Easterling families. Click here to read about their Sunday afternoon at Ada's favorite place.

Read about Chelsea Groves and the new book that has been written about her and her journey here.

Our Donor Memorial Service was held on February 28, 2016. We had 47 families attend, our biggest year yet. The families are invited to bring tributes to be read and pinned quilt squares in memory of their loved ones. Each family was given a Gift of Life donor medal to honor their loved one's gift of organs and tissue.