Mayo Clinic Physician Who Donated Kidney to Stranger to be Honored at Rose Parade

Jim Haemmerle, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Health System physician from

Menomonie, Wis., has been selected to ride on Donate Life America’s

“One More Day” float at the 123rd Annual Rose Parade® in

Pasadena, Calif., on January 2, 2012.

The Donate Life float’s riders and floragraph honorees represent

millions of people touched by organ

and tissue donation. Riders must have a personal connection to

donation as the family member of a deceased organ, eye or tissue donor;

a living organ donor; or a recipient of an organ, tissue or cornea


Dr. Haemmerle, an orthopedic surgeon, has dedicated his career to

helping patients overcome illness and injury. But, in his mind, that

just wasn’t enough. So, on Feb. 9, 2010, he donated his left kidney to

someone he had never met, a carpenter and farmer from rural Minnesota

who has four children.

“It just felt like the right thing to do for a fellow human being,” says Dr.

Haemmerle. “I’m grateful that my family and I have been blessed with

generally good health. Perhaps this was a way to express that gratitude.”

But Dr. Haemmerle underestimated the ongoing positive impact the

donation would have on him. “I’ve gained much more from the experience

than I’ve given,” he says. “I’m aware every day that life is a precious

gift, and I’m grateful for my health, my family and all of the

opportunities life offers. I hope I have many more years of good health,

and I hope my left kidney will outlive me.”

Dr. Haemmerle will join 28 other riders from across the nation on this

year’s float, the organization’s ninth entry in the parade. The float is

inspired by floral clocks and clock towers from around the world. Six

enormous floral timepieces will be adorned with 72 memorial floragraphs,

floral portraits of deceased donors whose gifts gave life and time to

others. A rose dedication garden honors more than 3,000 people

worldwide, with each rose bearing a vial with a personal message

honoring a loved one. Anchoring the float is a 33-foot clock tower with

an animated sun/moon dial — a reminder to make each passing day count.

More than 110,000 Americans and their families await lifesaving organ

transplants. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people need donated

tissue to prevent or cure blindness, heal burns or save limbs. Millions

more benefit from blood donations.

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced transplant

practices in the United States, with campuses in Minnesota, Arizona

and Florida. With a legacy of quality and excellent outcomes, more than

200 doctors in transplant medicine and surgery perform about 1,400

transplants a year. For more information, visit

Donate Life is a not-for-profit alliance of local affiliates and

national organizations dedicated to inspiring all people to donate life

through organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life and Mayo

Clinic hope that anyone who has not yet registered will be inspired by

Donate Life’s float to join the 100 million Americans who have checked

‘Yes’ for donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license

or identification card. A person can sign up as an organ, eye and tissue

donor by visiting

About Mayo Clinic

Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care,

research, and education for people from all walks of life. For more

information, visit