Media Advisory: UCSF Transplant Patient and Donor Featured In 2013 Rose Parade

Alfonso Garcia with Connie May, the mother of his donor.

WHAT: Former UCSF transplant patient Alfonso Garcia, 18, has been selected as a rider on the Donate Life “Journeys of the Heart” float at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on January 1, 2013.  He will do so to honor his donor, George Becker, who died at age 22 in 2010. A likeness of Becker will be captured in a floragraph, which is a portrait made of flowers, on the same float in this annual, internationally televised event.

Garcia was 15 years old when he was diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, an inherited disorder in which there is too much copper in the body’s tissues, causing damage to the liver and nervous system. Garcia’s health was deteriorating quickly and he needed a liver transplant immediately. Becker’s donated liver helped to save Garcia’s life. Garcia is now a freshman at the University of San Francisco and an active Donate Life ambassador on organ donation.

The two families will reconnect again this Monday, Dec. 10, along with UCSF transplant staff and members of the California Transplant Donor Network to share their stories and complete decorating the floragraph of Becker.

Monday, Dec. 10, 2012
10:00 – 11:00 AM                 

UCSF Parnassus Campus Library – Teaching & Learning Center
530 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA
Room CL221


  • Alfonso Garcia, former UCSF liver transplant patient
  • Oscar and Marta Garcia, Alfonso’s parents
  • Connie Mays and Rick Becker, parents of the former UCSF liver transplant donor, George Becker
  • Ryutaro Hirose, MD, UCSF professor of Clinical Surgery, Division of Transplant Surgery
  • Sean Van Slyck, Organ Program Director at California Transplant Donor Network

CONTACT: Media planning to attend should RSVP to Abigail Mortimore at [email protected] or (415) 476-8810