UF startup and UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech graduate company Axogen, Inc., a global leader in developing and marketing innovative surgical solutions for damage or transection to peripheral nerves, selected Jessica de Paz to ride on the 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade float that was featured in the annual Tournament of Roses® parade. The parade took place on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. This is the seventh year that Axogen has co-sponsored the Donate Life float.
We are honored to ring in the new year with Jessica, a nerve tissue recipient! She rode alongside 17 other organ, eye, or tissue recipients on the #DonateLifeFloat in the Rose Parade. #LightintheDarkness pic.twitter.com/bGYMZAAkOp— axogen (@axogen) January 1, 2020
After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis in June 2017, Jessica underwent a grueling five months of chemotherapy followed by a double mastectomy. When breast tissue is removed during a mastectomy, the nerves that provide feeling to the breast are severed and the nerve signals are disrupted, often resulting in numbness and loss of feeling in the breast area. This lack of sensation can add physical and emotional burden for women following the challenges they have already endured with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Jessica planned to have her breasts reconstructed, but she was concerned about ever feeling connected to a chest that was permanently numb.Read more about Avance® Nerve Graft Recipient Selected to Ride on Donate Life Rose Parade® Float.