Donation Essentials Blog

Celebrating Life at the 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade – Juan Carlos Montanez

This year, we are honored to have Juan Carlos Montanez, a kidney recipient, represent Colorado at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Juan Carlos will be honoring his donor aboard the 17th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day. He will be joined by 25 other people from across the country whose lives have also been touched by donation and transplantation.

In 2009, while working abroad, Juan Carlos Montanez was diagnosed with acute End-Stage Renal Disease and placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. After six years on nightly peritoneal dialysis, Juan Carlos, then 41, received a lifesaving kidney transplant in July 2015. He is forever grateful for his donor’s gift of life, which is one of the reasons he has dedicated his time to bringing awareness about the lifesaving gift of organ and tissue donation.

Light in the Darkness

The theme of this year’s Donate Life Rose Parade float is Light in the Darkness, and highlights the power of unity, light and love, as celebrated during Southeast Asia’s Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, a celebration of light shining in the darkness. The many lives touched by donation embody the hope inherent in this festival, and reflects the hope Juan Carlos Montanez experienced after receiving his transplant.

Recognizing Those Committed to Helping Save Lives

Ahead of his appearance in the parade, Juan Carlos visited the Westminster Driver License Office to thank Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles team members who have committed to asking Colorado residents to sign up as organ, eye and tissue donors. Juan Carlos handed out roses to them as a thank you for the work they do daily in registering donors. The DMV’s close partnership and the commitment of its team members play an integral part in registering thousands of Coloradans each year who sign up to become organ, eye and tissue donors.

Watch the Parade

The Rose Parade will start at 8 a.m. PST on January 1, 2020 and be broadcast live in the U.S. by broadcast partners ABC, NBC, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, Univision and more. Check local broadcast listings for more information.

For more information about the 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade float, visit

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