Donation Essentials Blog

Join us in celebrating the gift of life at events across Colorado and Wyoming this holiday season!

This season join us and residents across Colorado and Wyoming whose lives have been touched by organ, eye and tissue donation to celebrate the gift of life. With community parades across the two-state area, there are plenty of opportunities to show your support for donation and transplantation awareness by participating in these events!

Dec. 7: Donate Life Wyoming at the Cheyenne Christmas Parade

Wyoming residents are invited to join heart recipient Jeremy Smario and Donate Life Wyoming at this year’s Cheyenne Christmas Parade. Jeremy will ride this year’s Grinch-themed “How Big is Your Heart” float. At just 33 years old, Jeremy suffered from heart failure, and his only option for survival was a new heart. Now, thanks to a lifesaving transplant, Jeremy has returned to a happy, healthy life with his family and is sharing his transplant journey at the parade.

Coloradans have two opportunities to celebrate the season with us! Residents that have had a family member become a donor, or who have received a transplant themselves, will escort the Donate Life Colorado “Gift of Life” balloon in Denver’s 9News Parade of Lights and will also show support at the 35th annual Festival of Lights Parade in Colorado Springs.


Dec. 6 & 7: Denver’s 45th Annual 9News Parade of Lights

Head downtown to join Donate Life Colorado at the annual 9News Parade of Lights where the “Gift of Life” balloon will be featured. The jumbo balloon is in the shape of a gift box, honoring organ, eye and tissue donors and representing the hope made possible by donation. Families of donors and transplant recipients, including Denver resident and the mother of a heart recipient, Lisa Vallejos, and the mother of an organ donor, Kristen Adcock of Morrison, will lead the float along the two-mile parade route.

Kristen lost her son Connor in 2017 when he was just 19 years old. Kristen remembers her son as a giver throughout his life. He continued that legacy after his death by saving and healing the lives of up to 70 people.

Lisa’s son, Gabriel was born with a rare heart defect. In order to survive, he needed a transplant immediately after he was born. At 13 days old, Gabriel received a new heart. Thanks to his lifesaving transplant, Gabriel is now a healthy 12-year-old living his life to the fullest, playing video games and learning to code.

Attending the parade this year? Great! Remember to take a picture of the special “Gift of Life” balloon and share it on social with your #GiftofLife story. Be sure to tag Donate Life Colorado in your posts.

If you can’t make it out this year then join us on Facebook as we share the 9News live stream of the event.


Dec. 7: 35th Annual Colorado Springs Festival of Lights Parade

Colorado Springs residents are encouraged to join Donate Life Colorado at the annual Festival of Lights Parade. Loved ones of donors, transplant recipients, transplant candidates, advocates and their families and friends will walk in the parade in support of donation and transplantation. Liver recipient and Firestone resident, Tim Atkinson will be at the parade and share his transplant story with the community. Tim received a lifesaving transplant after being diagnosed with liver disease. Now in good health, Tim is grateful to his donor for giving him the gift of life and vows to live each day to the fullest.

Happy holidays and we hope to see you all there!

For more opportunities to get involved and raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation throughout the year, visit

Celebrate organ and transplantation awareness this holiday season! 

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