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St. Vincent Medical Center


 St. Vincent Medical Center

St. Vincent Medical Center Kidney Recipient to Ride Donate Life Tournament of Roses' Parade Float

Dec 17, 2018 | St. Vincent News

St. Vincent Medical Center’s two-time kidney transplant recipient, Jolene Vargas, has been honored with the privilege to ride on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. On behalf of St. Vincent, Dr. Tariq Shah dedicated a rose to be placed on the float: “Congratulations, we celebrate the gift of life with you.”

Donate a Life CA Logo
Jolene was a single mother when she was first diagnosed with kidney disease, which was the same kidney disease her brother had been diagnosed with. Since her brother was a two-time kidney recipient at St. Vincent Medical Center, they felt confident that Jolene would have the same success.

Jolene received her first transplant on August 12, 1993. After 10 more years of dialysis, Jolene received a second transplant in 2011. Jolene is grateful to her donors because she was able to raise her son, watch him walk across the graduation stage and begin a successful career.

“Receiving a kidney helped me raise my son and live a long, healthy life. This means everything,” said Jolene.

In 2017, Jolene was placed on the waiting list once again. While she is on the waiting list, she dedicates her time as a OneLegacy Ambassador, spreading the message of being a registered donor. She visits hospitals and attends events in order to raise awareness and inform potential recipients. In addition, she is an advocate for diabetes and renal failure education.

“We have a long and special connection with Jolene and her family and we are excited to know she is being honored as she and her family understand Transplant and they do so much to help spread the importance of caring for organs, especially our kidneys.” – Dr. Shah. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Transplant and HPB Institute at St. Vincent Medical Center, visit the Transplant and Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Institute.

To learn more or to sign up today to become an organ and tissue donor, visit

St. Vincent Medical Center Kidney Recipient to Ride Donate Life Tournament of Roses' Parade Float