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Glendora Woman Decorates Float in Memory of Organ Donor Husband

The Donate Life float of the 2013 Rose Parade pays tribute to organ donors and recipients.

As the floats of the 2013 Rose Parade make their debut to the world New Years Day, one Glendora woman decorated one of the floats in memory of her husband who saved lives as an organ donor.

Glendora resident Becky Culver’s husband Jody died in 2008, but his decision to become an organ donor before his death helped save the lives of four people.

Culver decided to honor her husband’s memory and his decision to become an organ donor by taking part in the decoration of the Donate Life float at the 2013 Rose Parade. Culver was one of organ and tissue recipients, living organ donors and donor family members from across southern California who decorated the Donate Life Rose Parade float earlier this month.

The 10th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float, “Journeys of the Heart,”  dramatizes the ups and downs experienced by donor families, transplant recipients and living donors. Hosting 32 riders and featuring a magical, heart-filled world experienced by those touched by organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, the float’s continuous, 200-foot-long, heart-shaped pathway is lined with 72 memorial floragraphs of deceased donors who are remembered every step of the way.

Inspired by the 2013 Rose Parade® theme “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,”Donate Life’s looping, heart-laden float design evokes the emotional journeys undertaken by all people affected by donation and transplantation.

“Our float participants have experienced the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and all points between on their roads from heartbreak to hope,” said Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life float committee and vice president of communications at OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ and tissue organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “We honor equally people who have saved lives as donors and those who have received organ and tissue transplants that allowed them to carry on full lives, for the benefit of their families and the communities in which they live. Throughout the upcoming holiday season, their stories will inspire millions to make registering as a donor part of their own life journey.”

The float’s collection of joyful hearts representing the new life made possible by transplantation is grounded by a reverent dedication garden filled with roses bearing personal messages honoring those who make the gift of life possible. The journey peaks with overlapping red and purple hearts representing the love and courage that define humanity at its best. The float’s 200-foot-long, heart-shaped pathway is lined with 72 memorial “floragraph” portraits of deceased donors that will be visible along the five-mile parade route.

The 124th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, at 8 am PST, featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands.

For more information about the Donate Life Rose Parade float, visit www.donatelifefloat.org. Those wishing to make the commitment to donate may register online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or its Spanish-language counterpart, www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org, or check “Yes” when applying for or renewing a driver’s license or ID card.

- Local Editor Hazel Lodevico-To'o contributed to this report.

Jennifer Walker December 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Way to go Mom!! I love you and the work that you do to honor the gift that Dad made. And a HUGE thank you to the Patch for running this story. Its a hard thing to have to talk about, but please make sure you know what your loved ones wishes are before they go! There is a part of my Dad that still lives and that it what makes this whole process a little bit easier.

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