CAMBRIDGE -- Ohio will be represented on a national stage at the 2014 Rose Parade as local organ, eye and tissue donors will be honored on the Donate Life float.

At the invitation of the American Hospital Association, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), Ray Chorey, president and CEO of Southeastern Med, in partnership with Lifeline of Ohio, signed a special Donate Life message that will be attached to a vial that will be placed in the Donate Life Dedication Garden on the float.

The Dedication Garden offers donor families, transplant recipients and candidates, hospitals, transplant centers and organizations nationwide the opportunity to dedicate roses placed on the float and helps further illuminate the parade route by shining a light on donation.

"The clinical team at Southeastern Med is committed to enabling the sharing of the many gifts that come to those in need from our participation in Ohio Donate for Life program," Chorey said. "It is a privilege and honor to represent the hospital and our commitment in a personal message that is a part of the Donate Life Float in this year's Rose Parade."

Today, more than 120,000 candidates are on the national organ transplant waiting list, with 3,400 of those candidates waiting in Ohio. Largely due to the rarity of donation opportunities, only about 28,000 organs are transplanted each year. As a result, 18 candidates die each day for lack of a donor.

A single organ donor can save the lives of eight people through organ donation, while a single tissue donor can save and heal 50 others through needed heart valves, corneas, skin, bone, and tendons that mend hearts, prevent or cure blindness, heal burns and save limbs.

Lifeline of Ohio, an organ procurement organization, works with local hospitals to promote and coordinate donation in central and southeast Ohio.

Since its debut on New Year's Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world's most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ, eye, and tissue donors.

The campaign began as an idea expressed in a letter by lung recipient Gary Foxen (Orange, Calif.) who wanted to show gratitude to donors who make life-saving transplants possible.

In addition to the 40 million viewers who view the Rose Parade in the stands and on TV, hundreds of events are held in cities and towns around the country to put the finishing touches on 81 floragraph portraits, of which two featured donors are from Ohio, and present dedicated roses to donor families and community partners that play a role in making donation possible.

Join America's 113 million registered donors so that everyone whose life and livelihood depends on a transplant can have one. Sign up at the Bureau of Motor vehicles or by visiting www.lifelineofohio.org.

Further information about the Donate Life float can be found at www.donatelifefloat.org.

About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO and a variety of associated events.

The Tournament's 935 volunteer members act as ambassadors of the organization within the community and serve on one of 31 committees that ensure the success of the parade and game.

Collectively, they contribute upwards of 80,000 hours of manpower each year.

The 125th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed "Dreams Come True," will take place Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, followed by the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO.

On Jan. 6, 2014, the Tournament also will host the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official web site at www.tournamentofroses.com.

About Lifeline of Ohio

An independent, non-profit organization, Lifeline of Ohio promotes and coordinates the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation.

As a Donate Life Organization, it has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as the designated organ procurement organization serving37 Ohio counties along with Wood and Hancock counties in West Virginia.

Accredited by both the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and the American Association of Tissue Banks, Lifeline of Ohio provides services to 72 hospitals and the communities they serve through its procurement and tissue coordinators, and other professional staff.