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RTI Donor Services & Versiti Celebrate the Gift of Tissue Donation at 2019 Rose Parade

RTI Donor Services sponsors tissue recipient as walker on float

MILWAUKEE – December 19, 2018 – RTI Donor Services (RTIDS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing responsible stewardship of the gift of tissue donation, and Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation and transplantation services, are pleased to announce their participation with the Donate Life Float in the 2019 Rose Parade®, taking place in Pasadena, Calif. on January 1, 2019. RTIDS has been a proud sponsor of the Donate Life float since its first appearance in the Rose Parade 16 years ago.

The Donate Life float is part of a national initiative to help share the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. RTIDS is honored to be sponsoring tissue recipient Molly Blackwood as a walker on the 2019 float. Molly resides in Brookfield, Wis., where Versiti coordinates organ and tissue transplants and educates the community about the life-saving and life-enhancing gifts donors provide to patients in need.

“Versiti is passionate about saving and enhancing the lives of organ and tissue recipients like Molly, and supporting the incredible donor families in Wisconsin,” said Colleen McCarthy, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Organ and Tissue Donation, Versiti. “The Donate Life float is a wonderful recognition of the generosity and spirit of the tissue donation community.”

“RTI Donor Service’s goal is to honor the gift of tissue donation by developing unique allograft implants to treat and improve the lives of patients,” said Olivier Visa, President, RTIDS. “We’re honored to continue our tradition of sponsoring the Donate Life float to raise awareness of the significant impact of tissue donation.”

Molly spent much of her life working as a registered nurse (RN) at a large hospital. She had the opportunity to care for some of the first liver transplant patients in the United States and became a staunch advocate for tissue donation, never imaging that one day she would be the recipient of a life-changing donation. In recent years, Molly began experiencing severe low back pain along with sciatica, and her doctors recommended surgery. In January 2018, Molly received donated bone tissue during a spine fusion surgery. When she woke up after the surgery, the pain was gone. *

“I am forever grateful to the tissue donor who helped me regain my quality of life,” said Molly. “Like countless other transplant recipients, I want donor families to know that their loved ones live on with those of us that have been given a second chance at life.”

RTIDS is affiliated with RTI Surgical (Nasdaq: RTIX), a global surgical implant company with a proud history of tissue innovation and safety. To date, RTI has provided more than 8 million biologic implants processed through its proprietary sterilization processes with zero confirmed incidence of implant-associated infection.

Nationwide, life-enhancing tissue is generously donated by more than 39,000 donors each year,i and a single donor can help 75 or more people improve their lives.ii For millions of Americans, tissue transplants have relieved their pain and returned their mobility.iii To learn more about tissue donation, visit DonateLife.net.

For more information about the Pasadena Tournament of Roses®, visit TournamentofRoses.com.

*Clinical cases are unique and individual results may vary. Refer to the labeling for clinical applications, warnings, precautions and other instructions for use.

About RTI Donor Services

RTI Donor Services, Inc. (RTI Donor Services) is a nonprofit tissue acquisition agency working in collaboration with the donation community and healthcare facilities in perpetuating the gift of tissue donation. RTI Donor Services is affiliated with RTI Surgical, Inc. (RTI Surgical), a global surgical implant company providing surgeons with safe biologic, metal and synthetic implants. Both RTI Donor Services and RTI Surgical are focused on improving the lives of others by maximizing the gift of tissue donation and providing safe tissue implants for recipients.

About Versiti

Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our health care partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts across Versiti result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care and cost efficiencies for health care systems nationwide. For more information, visit versiti.org.


 

i American Association of Tissue Banks: AATB’s Commitment to Community. Online at https://www.aatb.org/?q=community. Last accessed December 6, 2018

ii Donate Life America: National Donate Life Month – April 2018 Donation and Transplantation Statistics. Online at https://www.donatelife.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2018-NDLM-Donation-and-Transplantation-Statistics-FINAL-12.17-FINAL-public.pdf. Last accessed November 19, 2018

iii Data on file at RTI Donor Services, Inc.

Voices of Donation

 “I had the pleasure of calling this man my father. Thirty years, nine months, 30 days, four hours and 45 minutes here on earth, we got to make memories.”

– Josh Olson
Bruce Olson

“Why put his remains in the ground when there are people here who are suffering. At least something good can come out of this.”

– Kathy Jones, donor wife
Bob Jones

“It makes you feel good because you’re able to help others. You never know when you might need it yourself.”

– MaryAnn Durell, donor daughter
Quentin Durell

"With this tragedy, the donation helped other people live or live a better life."

– Bill Conner, Abbey's dad
Abbey Conner

“It is so wonderful to look up and see the stars in the sky at night. Now I can actually hold my head up again!”

– Suzi Resnick, recipient
Suzi Resnick