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Republic Teen To Be Honored As Organ & Tissue Donor At 2018 Tournament Of Roses Parade

Posted November 16, 2017 in Donor Family News

img3525-resized-webresA portrait in flowers, honoring “The Gift of Time.”

The family of Olivia Didway put the finishing touches on a special floragraph portrait that will be displayed on the Donate Life Float honoring organ and tissue donors at the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on January 1, 2018. Mid-America Transplant was proud to host the special ceremony at Lost & Found Grief Center on Tuesday for Olivia’s mother, Angela Rose, and family and friends to add the last organic materials to the floragraph portrait of Olivia, who was 17-years-old when she died in 2014 after a tragic car accident near her home.

“”I’m honored they chose to honor Olivia,” Angela told KOLR 10, which covered the event. “She absolutely deserves it. I’m saying that because I’m her mom, but I’m also saying that because she saved five lives. She definitely deserves that honor.”

img3499-webresMid-America Transplant is sponsoring Olivia’s portrait, which is one of 44 floragraphs to be showcased on the Donate Life Float during the parade. The portraits represent organ and tissue donors from across the nation and are made entirely of organic floral materials, such as spices, seeds, and crushed flowers. Thousands of additional roses with personal dedications of love and remembrance also will be part of the float, which has the theme, The Gift of Time. Donor families and transplant recipients also will be riding the float.

Olivia made the decision to become an organ and tissue donor when she received her first driver’s license. She had a conversation with her mother about joining the donor registry just a few months before the accident. That conversation led Angela to honoring Olivia’s wishes to be a donor, and to share Olivia’s heroic story. “It was important enough for Olivia to have the conversation with me and make the decision to be an organ donor,” Angela said. “She had a heart for it. So not only do I want to share her story, but I want to help save lives like she did. Even if it’s indirectly by sharing her story.”

Olivia was a rising senior at Republic High School. She was friendly and energetic. She made friends with everyone. Olivia had a genuine heart. She was a runner and liked old movies and photography. And she was a very giving person. Olivia’s compassion and willingness to help others continued even in her passing. Through organ donation, Olivia saved five lives: a teenage boy received her heart, two men in their 50s received her kidneys, a 27-year-old man received her liver, and her lungs saved a 61-year-old grandmother.

The Tournament of Roses Parade will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018. More than 40 million viewers are expected to watch the parade on television. For more information on the Donate Life Float and all of the floragraph honorees, please visit www.donatelifefloat.org

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