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Donate Life California Sponsors Former State Senator Sharon Runner on 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Oct. 15, 2013 – Former California State Senator Sharon Runner will “Light Up the World” with 29 other organ and tissue transplant recipients on the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Sharon represents Donate Life California as a rider on the 11th annual Donate Life Float as it travels along the 5-mile parade route through Pasadena on New Year’s Day.R275A_SharonRunner

At age 30, Sharon was diagnosed with Sclerodoma, a disease that affects the lungs. More than 20 years later, while serving in the State Assembly in 2006, she began having trouble breathing at higher elevations. Her doctors discovered she had lost nearly 60 percent of her lung capacity and would need to travel with portable oxygen. She was also told she would need a double-lung transplant within five years. Despite the diagnosis, she continued to serve in the assembly, and in 2011 was elected to the State Senate. But, her health took a turn for the worse later that year – a tracheotomy left her unable to speak. In February 2012, her prayers were answered and she received a double-lung transplant.

“I am so grateful to the family of the 36-year-old woman who determined to donate her lungs,” she said. “My son was 35 then, and I was heartbroken to think what losing my own son would have meant.”

Read more about Sharon Runner and her transplant journey here.

The Rose Parade is seen by tens of millions of people across the U.S. and around the world on New Year’s Day. To meet all of the organ and tissue transplant recipients who will be riding on the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade float, click here. To read the full news release, click here.

Brianne Mundy
Donate Life California

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