Double BMT recipient to ride in New Year's Day float

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For the first time, a recipient of a bone marrow transplant will ride on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in Pasadena on New Year's Day 2011.

Victor Villalobos is a California resident whose diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma led him to undergo an autologous BMT when he was not yet 20 years old. Unfortunately it failed, leading Villalobos to undergo a second BMT, this time the riskier allogenic transplant.

"I am so excited I've been telling everyone I know," said the young man. "Sometimes I forget who I've told and I tell them again."

Villalobos' presence on the float, dubbed "Seize The Day", is sponsored by Loma Linda University Medical Center Transplantation Institute. He'll join 29 other patients who have undergone transplants involving several different organs. The point of the float is to draw attention to donor programs and encourage people to become donors of tissue, organs, and stem cells.

Contra Costa Times

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