Shands transplant center team members rock ’80s attire at “Life-a-palooza” for organ donation awareness

Jon Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” is one 80s hit that, unfortunately, more than 100,000 people relate to each day as they wait for a lifesaving organ.

Clinicians with the Shands Transplant Center at the University of Florida will trade in their white lab coats for neon spandex, sweatbands and sunglasses at night to celebrate National Donate Life month at “Life-a-palooza,” a concert series event to raise awareness for organ donation and transplantation.

“Life-a-palooza” is hosted by UF student organ donation awareness organization Get Carded. It will feature musical performances by Hundred Waters and Maximino as well as Shands Transplant Center patient testimonials from those whose lives have been enhanced by organ and tissue donation.

The event is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the Orange and Brew. It is free and open to the public. Transplant recipients will share their stories to help put a face to organ donation. Transplant recipients may have a new organ, but they lead healthy, active lifestyles. Many Shands Transplant Center patients even participate in Olympic-like athletic competitions like the Transplant Games.

Shands Transplant Center team members and representatives from the local organ procurement organization will be available to answer questions about organ donation, and guests can register at the event to become donors on Florida’s online registry.

“Get Carded has set a goal to register 50 new donors on the Joshua Abbot State Registry,” said Get Carded President Haley Appel. “We hope to bring education and awareness to the increasing need for donations.”

Shands at UF provides subspecialty services such as advanced trauma care and organ transplantation.  Shands Transplant Center has performed many “first” transplants in the state of Florida.

For more information about organ donation or to sign up on Florida’s organ and tissue donor registry, please visit