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DEERFIELD, IL, October 11, 2007 – Astellas Pharma US, Inc., a leader in the field of transplantation, has announced the winners of the third annual Astellas Ride of a Lifetime contest. Launched in April 2007, the Astellas Ride of a Lifetime contest asked organ transplant recipients to write an essay describing how their life has been transformed by transplantation. The five winners of the contest will ride the Donate Life Float in the 2008 Rose Parade – one of the most celebrated entertainment events in the world.
“Every transplant recipient has a unique story about their journey – one that often includes a life-altering transformation,” said Maribeth Landwehr, Associate Director of Corporate Communications for Astellas. “As a leader in the transplant community, Astellas supports the Donate Life Rose Parade Float to educate the public about organ donation and to honor all transplant recipients, organ donors and donor families.”
Contestants submitted their essays online at www.TransplantExperience.com or via regular mail. An independent third-party panel of judges, along with one Astellas representative, selected the five essay winners who best demonstrated the degree of transformation they experienced as a result of organ transplantation. The following five winning essayists will ride on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in January 2008:
Tracy Copeland – Age: 43, liver recipient from Sparks, Nevada
One year after receiving her new liver, Tracy formed a strong bond with her organ donor’s family. Her donor family has accompanied her to three U.S. Transplant Games to watch her compete.
Claire Goudeau – Age: 56, liver recipient from Madison, Wisconsin
After participating in cycling events at the U.S. Transplant Games, Claire organized a cycling group in Madison to promote the health of transplant recipients.
Bill Ismer – Age: 63, heart recipient from Plant City, Florida
Just after Bill received his new heart in 1999, he gave it away by marrying his favorite cardiac nurse. Now retired, the couple continues to volunteer at their local hospital.
D.J. Lampert – Age: 17, liver recipient from St. Louis, Missouri
At only 8 months old, D.J. received a new liver and throughout his life has shown his gratitude by promoting the importance of organ donation.
Jill Miller – Age: 39, kidney recipient from Saegertown, Pennsylvania
After surviving both a kidney transplant and breast cancer, Jill developed “Charity Bear,” a company dedicated to raising funds for kidney and breast cancer foundations.
The Donate Life Rose Parade Float will also feature 18 other riders whose lives have been transformed by organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The float is coordinated by OneLegacy in partnership with Astellas and 50 other organizations nationwide. OneLegacy is the nonprofit, federally designated transplant donor network serving the Greater Los Angeles area.
“We want to thank Astellas for their continued commitment to the Donate Life Rose Parade. We hope that our float entry will again this year inspire people worldwide to donate life,” said Bryan Stewart, Chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Organizing Committee and Director of Communications for OneLegacy. “It is truly inspirational to watch the float riders and volunteers share their stories and build a living tribute to organ and tissue donors, recipients and their loved ones.” For more information regarding the Astellas Ride of a Lifetime essay contest or to read the winning essays, visit www.TransplantExperience.com.
Astellas is a recognized leader in transplantation and has been committed to the field of immunology for more than 20 years. Dedicated to supporting the advancement of care for patients, Astellas continues to build upon its legacy and leadership in transplantation by investing in ongoing clinical research and new product development. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Deerfield, Illinois, is a U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc., Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. In the US, Astellas markets products in the areas of Immunology, Urology, Anti-Infectives, Cardiovascular and Dermatology. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, inc., please visit our website at www.astellas.com/us.
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