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Living Liver Donor Who Saved Life of Mother-in-law Represents Cedars-Sinai in Rose Parade

When Keith Karzin donated half his liver to his mother-in-law in November 2003,// he wanted nothing in return except to save the life of his wife’s mother and his children’s grandmother.

But the 45-year-old Valencia resident has been chosen to represent Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on the Donate Life Rose Parade? Float this coming New Year’s Day.

“It’s going to be an honor, and I think it’s important because word needs to get out that people have the power to save lives,” says Karzin, noting that his children, Ashley, 12, Hannah, 10, and Garrett, 7, will see the event in person.

“They’re excited. They’ve seen it on TV but they’ve never actually been to it, and they think it’s pretty cool that Dad gets to do this. We’re going to get the whole family out there and I think we’re going to try to stay a couple of days and enjoy it. This, to me, is an event of a lifetime,” says Karzin, director of Safety and Risk Management for the Saugus Union School District.

In early 2003, Sharon Dziubala’s health was rapidly declining as her diseased liver deteriorated. She needed a transplant but a cadaver organ was not available. When other potential living donors were found to be incompatible, Karzin wanted to be tested, especially after he discovered during a routine physical exam that his blood type was favorable.

“My wife and I talked about it and went to my mother-in-law, but they (the in-laws) didn’t want me to do it. They were really concerned because I have three young kids and they didn’t want anything to happen. My attitude was, nothing’s going to happen. This is going to be good. This was meant to be. We need to get you better and let’s get this going,” Karzin recalls, adding that he has endured a fair amount of ribbing about saving the life of his mother-in-law.

But in contrast to the stereotypical in-law relationship, Karzin and his wife, Susan, enjoy the company of Sharon and Tom, who live only minutes away. And t
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