Jim Haemmerle, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Health System physician from
Menomonie, Wis., has been selected to ride on Donate Life Americas
One More Day float at the 123rd Annual Rose Parade® in
Pasadena, Calif., on January 2, 2012.
The Donate Life floats riders and floragraph honorees represent
millions of people touched by organ
and tissue donation. Riders must have a personal connection to
donation as the family member of a deceased organ, eye or tissue donor;
a living organ donor; or a recipient of an organ, tissue or cornea
Dr. Haemmerle, an orthopedic surgeon, has dedicated his career to
helping patients overcome illness and injury. But, in his mind, that
just wasnt enough. So, on Feb. 9, 2010, he donated his left kidney to
someone he had never met, a carpenter and farmer from rural Minnesota
who has four children.
It just felt like the right thing to do for a fellow human being, says Dr.
Haemmerle. Im grateful that my family and I have been blessed with
generally good health. Perhaps this was a way to express that gratitude.
But Dr. Haemmerle underestimated the ongoing positive impact the
donation would have on him. Ive gained much more from the experience
than Ive given, he says. Im aware every day that life is a precious
gift, and Im grateful for my health, my family and all of the
opportunities life offers. I hope I have many more years of good health,
and I hope my left kidney will outlive me.
Dr. Haemmerle will join 28 other riders from across the nation on this
years float, the organizations ninth entry in the parade. The float is
inspired by floral clocks and clock towers from around the world. Six
enormous floral timepieces will be adorned with 72 memorial floragraphs,
floral portraits of deceased donors whose gifts gave life and time to
others. A rose dedication garden honors more than 3,000 people
worldwide, with each rose bearing a vial with a personal message
honoring a loved one. Anchoring the float is a 33-foot clock tower with
an animated sun/moon dial — a reminder to make each passing day count.
More than 110,000 Americans and their families await lifesaving organ
transplants. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people need donated
tissue to prevent or cure blindness, heal burns or save limbs. Millions
more benefit from blood donations.
Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced transplant
practices in the United States, with campuses in Minnesota, Arizona
and Florida. With a legacy of quality and excellent outcomes, more than
200 doctors in transplant medicine and surgery perform about 1,400
transplants a year. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org/transplant.
Donate Life is a not-for-profit alliance of local affiliates and
national organizations dedicated to inspiring all people to donate life
through organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life and Mayo
Clinic hope that anyone who has not yet registered will be inspired by
Donate Lifes float to join the 100 million Americans who have checked
Yes for donation when applying for or renewing their drivers license
or identification card. A person can sign up as an organ, eye and tissue
donor by visiting www.donatelife.net.
About Mayo Clinic
Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care,
research, and education for people from all walks of life. For more
information, visit www.mayoclinic.org/about/