PASADENA (CBS) — Float preparations for the Tournament of Roses Parade are in full bloom. For one special group their float is not just a work of art — it’s a way to honor their loved ones.
The Donate Life Float pays tribute to those who have donated or received organs or tissue.
The whimsical float features “floralgraphs”, portraits of donors etched in flowers, who gave the gift of life.
“My brother, Eddie Arellano, he was 33 years old. He died of a brain aneurysm,” said Anna Arellano, who was helping construct the float. “He was able to give his liver, two kidneys and both of his lungs.”
Arellano was putting the finishing touches on her brother’s floralgraph Wednesday, along with 1,000 other volunteers working on the float.
“It brough some comfort to us knowing that he could save other people’s lives,” Arellano said.
Many organ recipients were also working on the float.
John Beers received a kidney after being on dialysis for four years.
“I spend time with my granddaughters and my kids and my wife,” Beers said. “Without the kidney it would not be possible — in fact, I would not be here today.”
The Donate Life float is making its ninth appearance in the Rose Parade. This year, the float’s theme is time and features a clock with moving dial hands.
Written in flowers is the message, “One More Day,” a reminder of how much many of these volunteers would give to have time back with the ones they’ve lost.