LOS ANGELES – 54 honorees representing 23 states participated in the 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade® float, “Courage to Hope.” With ages ranging from 16 to 71 years old for riders and walkers, and from 9 days old, to 55 years old for floragraph honorees, these participants and their families travelled to Pasadena to be part of America’s Donate Life celebration on New Year’s day’s traditional Rose Parade®.
The 2022 Donate Life Float featured:
4 walkers, including living donors, as well as organ and tissue recipients
15 riders who are organ and tissue recipients, as well as living donors
35 floragraphs or floral portraits representing organ, eye and tissue donors who gave the gift of life to others
Four honorees, whose lives were connected to organ donation, walked alongside the 2022 Donate Life float. The 2022 Donate Life float walkers included Ava Kaufman, a 71-year-old heart recipient from Los Angeles who founded Ava’s Heart to help donor families with funeral costs, and transplant recipients with pre and post-surgery housing. Ava was also nominated in 2021 as one of CNN’s Heroes.
Additional walkers include:
Elise Lathrop, a 22-year-old living kidney donor from New Orleans, LA.
Lynda Trachtman from Fullerton, Calif., a 71 year-old liver recipient, who was the first HIV+ patient to receive a living kidney donation from her niece, and
Susan Van Campen from Grand Terrace, Calif., 63 year-old living donor, tissue recipient, and donor family member, who is also the president of Transplant Games’ Team SoCal.
Bios to all four 2022 Donate Life float walkers are available here: https://donatelifefloat.org/si/participants/2022/walkers.html
The 2022 Donate Life float’s 15 riders included: Gerald Freeny, a 61 year old kidney and liver recipient, cancer survivor and past president of the 2019 Tournament of Roses; Rene Sorrentino, a 70 year old liver recipient from Fullerton, Calif. whose donor, Nicholas Paquette, was also honored with a floragraph on the float; and Selah Kitchiner, a 20-year-old from California who received a liver at the age of 13, and whose transplant inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. She is currently completing a degree in psychology at USC and on the pre-med track to become a doctor. Additional float riders included:
Alyza Marlin, a 52 year old pulmonary valve recipient from New York, NY
Branden Amian Dever, a 16 year old kidney recipient from San Jose, CA
Charles “Chuck” Pruitt, a 68 year old liver recipient from Bakersfield, CA
Chris Brown, a 36 year old tissue recipient from Jessup, GA
Dan Burke, a 62 year old lung recipient from Keyport, NJ
Hilda Martinez, a 47 year old kidney recipient from Richmond, CA
Jennifer Quattrocchi, a liver and kidney recipient from Roseville, CA
Karen Hoyt, a 64 year old liver recipient from Sand Springs, OK
Kim McMahon, a 63 year old tissue recipient from Pensacola, FL
Venerable Kumara, a 29 year old living kidney donor from Fort Pierce, FL
Tony Young, a 47 year old heart and kidney recipient from Parker, CO
Vicky West Vann, a 61 year old liver recipient from Laughlin, NV
Bios to the 2022 Donate Life float riders are available here: https://donatelifefloat.org/si/participants/2022/riders.html
35 deceased donors’ images were memorialized with floral portraits or floragraphs on the 2022 Donate Life float. These donors gave the ultimate gift of life to save and heal others through the power of organ, eye and tissue donation. These portraits were made out of organic materials like rice, farina, coffee, flax seeds and cinnamon.
The 2022 Donate Life float floragraph honorees included:
Nicholas Paquette, a 23 year old martial arts teacher and medical assistant from Boynton Beach, FL, whose liver recipient, Rene Sorrentino, was also honored as a rider on the float
Gabriela Hernandez, a 24 year old young woman from Huntington Beach, CA
Shelby Johnson, a 17 year old high school student from Tecumseh, OK
Bios to all 35 floragraph honorees are available here: https://donatelifefloat.org/si/participants/2022/floragraphs.html
The Donate Life Rose Parade float is produced by OneLegacy, designed by Charles Meier, built by Fiesta Parade Floats and made possible thanks to 43 sponsors. As the world’s most visible campaign to inspire organ, eye and tissue donation, the Donate Life Rose Parade® float inspires viewers to help the over 1 million people in need of organ, eye or tissue transplants each year. Register today to become an organ, eye or tissue donor by visiting DonateLife.net.
About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life, and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries; developing and executing effective multi-media donor education programs; and motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors.