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Rose Bowl Parade float honors those lost, saved

10:57 AM, Jan 1, 2013   |    comments
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The Donate Life Rose Parade Float has been a part of the New Year's Day even since 2004. It is a tribute to people who have provided eyes, hearts and other organs after their deaths.

The roses symbolize the final gift of life to those in need.

The De Silva family of Arcadia, Calif. is honoring Yohan, who died when he was 15.

"I'm sure he's saying 'thank you Dad,'" Rajiv De Silva, Yohan's dad, said. "I wish I could have done more for him while he was here, and I just want to keep doing stuff for him."

Yohan died last year. He left all his organs to Give of Life. 

Joe Gutierrez will be riding on the float on Tuesday. His trip is sponsored by AlloSource, one of the largest tissue banks in the country and based in Colorado. For Joe, another person's unselfish gift has been a life-changing process.

"I never thought having to endure the operations would result in me going to the Rose Bowl Parade. It's going to be an awesome experience," Gutierrez said. "It's brought a whole new perspective to me about human beings unselfish and donating their bodies to give the opportunity to people who need transplants. In my case, a graft of a humerus in my left arm. Before I couldn't use my arm or raise it. Again, I want to thank everyone who donates their bodies so that others can lead a more productive life."

Before his transplant surgery, doctors were afraid they might have to amputate Joe's arm. AlloSource tells us that the gift of tissue donation from one donor can touch as many as 60 lives.

The Rose Parade will be held New Year's Day in Pasadena starting at 9 a.m. on 9NEWS.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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