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For Immediate Release

Former Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Patient Wins A Ride of A Lifetime in 2006 Rose Parade®

Nicole Brook Stoe, who was transplanted in 1990, will ride on Donate Life Float

Former Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh transplant patient Nicole Brook Stoe, who is now a wife and mother, will ride on the Donate a Life float in the 2006 Rose Parade®.

Nicole Brook Stoe, who lives in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania, was one of five winners of the Ride of a Lifetime essay contest, sponsored by Astellas, Pharma US, Inc. She will ride on the 2006 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, themed "Life Transformed," in celebration of those unique individuals whose lives have been touched by transplantation. Additionally, Nicole and her guest will travel to California to meet other transplant recipients and donor families from around the country, work with the team to help build the Donate Life Rose Parade Float and attend special receptions.

"I am thrilled to be part of such a historical event like the Tournament of Roses Parade® and I am sure that this is something I will cherish for years to come," Nicole said.

Nicole Brook Stoe was a healthy 16-year-old until Dec. 3, 1990. After experiencing flu-like symptoms, her skin turned gold. Two days later, Nicole slipped into a coma, and her family was told that she would most likely die in less than 24 hours if she didn't have a liver transplant. With only hours to spare, a donor was found. Nicole had Wilson's Disease, a genetic disorder that inhibits the liver from discarding the copper that builds up in it. Following transplant at Children's, Nicole went on to graduate high school and college, got married and is now raising a healthy son.

"Since my transplant, I give more of myself to others," Nicole Brooke Stoe wrote in her essay. "Because of my personal experience, my family and I have all signed organ donation cards. I talk with my friends and new acquaintances about the importance of organ donation. I hope that by talking to whomever I can, it might help another person like me."

For decades, transplant surgeons and physicians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have been at the forefront of pioneering new approaches to organ transplantation and have performed more pediatric organ transplants than any other center in the world. Children's also has achieved patient survival rates that are among the highest in the nation.

"Organ donation is a personal and difficult decision for families to make. I am humbled each and every time a family makes the decision to donate a loved ones organs to help save another child's life, said George V. Mazariegos, MD, Director of Pediatric Transplant Surgery at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. "Each organ we receive is a precious gift that gives another child a chance for life. Despite all of our advancements and technology, we are still limited in our ability to save lives by the number of organs donated for transplant."

Launched in April 2005, the Astellas Ride of a Lifetime contest asked transplant recipients to submit a short essay summarizing how their transplant experience transformed their life. The contest entries were distributed at transplant centers across the country, and were also made available online.

"Every transplant recipient has a unique story about their journey - one that often ends in a life-altering transformation," said Maribeth Landwehr, Assistant Director of Corporate Communications for Astellas. "As a partner of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, Astellas created the contest as a tribute to the science of transplantation and the recipients who have experienced this transformation of life."

Contacts:
Melanie Finnigan, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu
Anne Keshner, Fleishman-Hillard, 312-751-3511, keshnera@fleishman.com

Last Update
February 18, 2008
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Last Update
February 18, 2008
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