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North Carolina Well Represented In Rose Parade

8:33 AM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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Charlotte, N.C. -- A transplant gave a North Carolina woman a second shot at life, and on New Year's Day, Julie Allred will take the ride of a lifetime.

Allred will represent North Carolina while on the Donor Life Float in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Doctors diagnosed Allred with Juvenile Diabetes when she was 10.

"My parents told me when I was diagnosed that I wouldn't live to be 30, and I definitely wouldn't be able to have children," said Allred.

Type 1 Diabetes would haunt Julie for the next 33 years.  By the time Allred turned 40, she was beginning to experience daily episodes of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

"It was becoming dangerous many times or most times life and death situations," Allred explained to WFMY News 2's Tracey McCain.  "It was to the point that they were ready to take my drivers license away.  I had to step down from my management position as a nurse because of it."

In February 2011, Allred participated in a clinical trial to treat Type 1 Diabetes by transplanting donor Islet cells.  They're the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

"My donor not only saved my life but up to 8, 10, 20, 50 other people's lives in someway," she said.

Julie beat the odds.  She's 45, married and has a daughter.  The best part--she feels great!

"I feel wonderful. My husband says will you please sit down," Allred laughed. 

And now she'll take the ride of her lifetime on the annual Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade on January 1, 2014.

She'll meet 29 other transplant recipients from across the country and ride for a single cause.  "It'll be great to have everybody to be there together in one place and make a big loud statement about how important it is to become a donor and how many lives you change," said Allred.

In addition to Julie Allred, two other LifeShare of the Carolinas volunteers, Nicole Siva and Renee Rhodes, will be represented on the float.

To learn more about Carolina Donor Services or LifeShare of the Carolinas, click on the appropriate link.  You can also call 1-800-200-2672.

WFMY News 2

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