Treasuring life’s journey
Two-time transplant recipient Miguel Santos, Regional Consumer Advocate in Buffalo, was among those chosen to ride on the Donate Life float at the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, on New Year’s Day. Miguel, who represented Upstate New York Transplant Services, tells the story below.
Every year our nation celebrates the New Year with the Rose Parade, held in Pasadena, California, on January 1. Organizations from throughout our country and abroad contribute to the success of the parade.
This year Donate Life Transplant Services sponsored a beautiful float titled Treasure Life’s Journey.
Every organ, eye and tissue donation begins a journey of new life, health and adventure for the recipient. Recipients are given back the opportunity to live long and productive lives, to remain active in their communities and within their families. Donor families find comfort from the selfless and compassionate act of donation to help people they may never know. Living donors heroically give of themselves to family, friends, and even strangers.
Life is a treasure and a journey to be embraced. We would be surprised how many National Grid employees have been touched by their local transplant organizations. We have employees who have donated organs and tissue of their loved one as they cope with the loss of a child or other family member. We have employees who have voluntarily donated a kidney to another person who would not survive if it were not for the gift. Then we have those who are the recipients, like me. I was diagnosed with keratoconus, a degenerative disorder of the eye which led to one eye being declared blind. A cornea transplant restored my sight. Due to this life experience, I began volunteering at Upstate New York Transplant Services to spread the word of my experience to donor families, other transplant recipients, and medical professionals. In 2013, I received another successful transplant, of tissue to rebuild the gums in my mouth.
Through my participation in this year’s Rose Parade, I dedicate this experience to ALL National Grid employees who have been touched by their local transplant organization. Please consider organ/tissue donation.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your selflessness to give the Gift of Life and improve my life.