Talk about a gift that keeps on giving, all year long, possibly for many more years, and maybe for multiple other people ...
The face of a late Horry-Georgetown Technical College alumnus will grace a 12-by-16-inch floragraph, or floral portrait, on Donate Life’s “Light Up the World” float on New Year’s Day in the Tournament of Roses 125th annual Rose Parade, which precedes the Rose Bowl Game.
Joseph Keith Wallace, a 25-year-old graduate with an associate’s degree in golf course management, died Aug. 2, 2012, from a ruptured brain aneurysm after experiencing an extreme headache and going comatose the previous day, said Mark Johnson, media relations coordinator for LifePoint, Inc. of Charleston, a registry begun in 2009 to handle organ and tissue donation services across South Carolina.
Because Wallace, a Manning resident – also a brother of Myrtle Beach Councilman Randal Wallace – had registered last year as an organ donor when renewing his S.C. driver’s license, his gift in passing has saved four other people’s lives through organ transplants, and others who received tissue:
• An Oklahoma woman, 54, received his left kidney
• An Ohio woman, 26, after waiting for a kidney for almost two years and on dialysis since 2008, received his right kidney.
• A 42-year-old S.C. father of two, on the waiting list since June 2010, received his liver.
• A 42-year-old Georgia father of three received his heart.
Johnson said that at a ceremony by LifePoint and Donate Life South Carolina at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the conference center at HGTC’s Grand Strand Campus in Myrtle Beach, near The Market Common, Keith Wallace’s loved ones will put the final touches on the floragraph for the Donate Life float, which also will honor the legacies of 80 other people whose gifts of life saved others.
This marks only the sixth time the Palmetto State has been represented on the float, an opportunity funded by a grant from Bridge to Life, a biotechnology company in Columbia helping advance the science of organ procurement and preservation, Johnson said. The Donate Life float, among 45 floats and 91 elements in the parade, is scheduled to appear in the first 30 minutes, he said, with telecasts airing 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 1 on NBC, ABC, HGTV, Hallmark Channel and Univision.
Another top myth is the religions don’t support it. All the mainstream religions in this country support organ and tissue donations.
And the third myth is that you can’t have an open casket; anytime someone is a donor, whether for tissue or organs, they can have an open-casket ceremony.