Going into this I had no idea what to expect.
The Rose Bowl Parade was something I always watched. Never really understood how those floats got decorated or how much work really went into each individual float. Well, now I know. My day was filled with climbing scaffolding, glueing lettuce seed, standing in very small spaces, glueing hot bottled oasis on silver petal leaves, glueing crushed lentils to the side of this giant parade float, and on top of all that....the people.
Everyone that volunteered shared a common ground, organ donation. In one way or another all the volunteers were either a donor family, a transplant recipient, living donor, spouse or partner of a recipient, nurse, doctor, and those waiting for their transplant. The ones that touched my heart & took my breath away with their generosity were the donor families. This was the part I never expected. I never expected to be face to face with a family member that made the decision to donate their loved ones organs. One in particular was a father whose 16 yr old daughter was tragically killed. He donated her organs to save other lives. In hearing his story, how his face lit up when he talked about his daughter... I looked at him with water filling up in my eyes and thanked him for his decision to donate life. And by doing so, his daughter's spirit will not only live on through him but it will live on through all the lives saved. Most of you know that our donor family still remains a mystery to us. I can tell you that when I looked at this father, and when I thanked him, and reassured him how wonderful of a person he was by re-gifting life........in an odd way I actually felt closer to our donor family.
The theme of this year's Donate Life parade float is "....One more day." How very appropriate, don't you think? Most people waiting for a new heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys unfortunately don't get one more day. Presently there are more than 100,000 men, women, and children awaiting organ transplants. Thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight.
Being an organ donor does save lives. My husband is living proof. My little family of four IS a story of hope.
Rock on. Donate Life. Provide HOPE for those that just want "one more day." Register to be an organ donor today: http://donatelife.net/