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Richard Ruble learned a lot about hard work from his father, who was a devoted coal miner. The son followed in his father's footsteps, working in the mines for 25 years before an on-the-job injury left him permanently disabled.

The younger Ruble, a Jasper native, also learned about the benefits of sacrifice and giving to others, and he lived a life that showed it. When the April 27, 2011, tornadoes ripped through central Alabama, Ruble prepared food for those in need and coordinated disaster recovery for Walker County. Soon after, he was named the volunteer construction coordinator for the long-term recovery committee in Walker County, and he led the reconstruction of more than 200 homes — acts which led to Ruble's receiving a commendation from Governor Robert Bentley in recognition of his efforts. When Ruble died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in January of 2013 at age 52, it was no surprise that his last act was one of sacrifice and giving hope — and life — to others. Ruble donated his kidneys at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital and saved the lives of two people.

Ruble was selected by the Alabama Organ Center (AOC) to represent Alabama on the Donate Life float in the 2014 Rose Parade on New Year's Day. Ruble's family, friends and neighbors put the finishing touches on a floragraph of Ruble that adorned the float Saturday, November 2nd, after the first Ruble Run. Proceeds from the run benefitted the educational efforts of the Alabama Organ Center (AOC) and the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle campaign.

"When asked in the hospital about the possibility of donating his organs, there was no hesitation," said Brandon Ruble, Richard's son. "He made it clear that, if he could help others in his passing, he undoubtedly wanted to do so. "This was the third year that the AOC sponsored a floragraph on the Donate Life float. The 2014 float, "Light Up the World," featured 81 floragraphs adorning five lanterns raised almost 30 feet into the air. The flames of the second and fourth lanterns were animated to flicker to represent giving life to others.

Ruble was the only Alabamian to be featured on this year's float, and his family flew to California to participate in the Parade and other festivities with the families of other deceased donors.

"We find peace in knowing that, even though Dad is no longer here to help us or to cheer us on in the stands, we know his legacy lives on through us and in those to whom he gave a second chance at life," Brandon Ruble said.

Justin Sollohub, an Anniston police officer, was killed in the line of duty in August of 2011. "As a family we had talked about organ donation and all had the belief that donation would be our wish," Justin's Mother, Jeniffer Morris, said.

Justin's sacrifice and gift of life was celebrated at the 2013 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on January 1st. His floragraph, sponsored by the Alabama Organ Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital, was one of the 72 organ donors memorialized on the Donate Life float "Journeys of the Heart." To read more about Justin and the Donate Life Rose parade float, please click here.

Daniel Brannon's death gave life to five others through organ donation. He was one of 72 donors remembered with a memorial floragraph on the 2012 Donate Life America Rose Parade– a portrait made from flowers – sponsored by the Alabama Organ Center and the University of Alabama Hospital - on the Donate Life float."...One More Day."

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) launched its expanded National Donor Memorial Website (www.donormemorial.org) on January 5, 2009. This tribute-driven site honors organ and tissue donors in this country, highlights the impact of their gift of life on the lives of so many others, and underscores the critical importance of increasing organ donation.

National News and Information

Arkansas News Anchor, Anne Pressly, was an Organ Donor. Her generosity saved lives. CBS News Anchor, Katie Couric, pays tribute. See her story.

When Jason Ray, University of North Carolina mascot, was killed in a tragic accident he donated his organs so others could live. See his story.

Transplant Games Honors Donors, Recipients

Liver Donor's Family, Recipient to Meet (.pdf)

State News

AOC Recovery Newsletter

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UAB Heart Lung Liver Transplant Support Group

Stan Smith and the Alabama Organ Center receive NBC13's Spirit of Alabama for April – National Donate Life Month. Click here to see the story.

2011 - Amber "Nikki" Davenport tragically lost her life on Sunday, April 18th. Her family generously donated her organs so that others might live. See her story.

Listen to Harvel Douglas, heart recipient, sing the National Anthem at the Huntsville Havoc hockey game on January 14, 2011. The Alabama Organ Center sponsored a Donate Life Night to promote organ and tissue donation. The night included Harvel's performance as well as an honorary puck drop by Cassie Barnby, a 12-year-old liver recipient.


Please check out the cover story in the March 2011 edition of B-metro magazine. "Ada's Place" unites the Buchanan and Easterling families. Click here to read about their Sunday afternoon at Ada's favorite place.

Read about Chelsea Groves and the new book that has been written about her and her journey here.

Our Donor Memorial Service was held on February 23, 2014. Thirty-six families brought tributes to be read and pinned quilt squares in memory of their loved ones. Each family was given a Gift of Life donor medal to honor their loved one's gift of organs and tissue.