This holiday season, Colorado and Wyoming residents touched by organ, eye and tissue donation will be raising awareness for the cause and trying to inspire others to register at several holiday events. Kate Geer—the wife of a Colorado Sheriff Deputy that became a donor after his death in the line of duty earlier this year—will be sharing her story and representing Colorado aboard the Donate Life Float in the nationally televised Rose Parade. Additionally, numerous Coloradans that have either had a family member become a donor, or who have received a transplant themselves, will be escorting a “Gift of Life” balloon in Denver’s 9News Parade of Lights. Donor Alliance Advocates for Life also helped debut a Donate Life Wyoming Float in the Cheyenne Christmas Parade.
“We cannot put into words how thankful we are to work with the incredible advocates that share their stories in order to help us educate on the importance of donation and transplantation,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance, the federally designated not-for-profit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and will sponsor Kate’s participation in the Rose Parade and the Donate Life Colorado balloon in Denver’s Parade of Lights. “We are hopeful that the powerful impact donation and transplantation has had on our advocates’ lives will inspire Coloradans and people around the country to give the gift of life by joining their state donor registries.”
“Teammates in Life” Donate Life Float at the 128th Rose Parade
Kate will travel from Grand Junction, Colo. to ride on the fourteenth annual Donate Life Rose Parade Float on Monday January 2 in honor of her husband Derek Geer, a Mesa County Sherriff’s Deputy who was killed in the line of duty in early 2016. Derek saved four lives through organ donation after his death. The float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire donation. Kate will be joined on the float by 23 other individuals from around the country whose lives were impacted by donation and transplantation.
Since her husband’s passing, Kate has been an active advocate for donation. Leading up to her appearance in the Rose Parade, Kate will be participating in a Donate Life flag raising and pinning ceremony on December 6 at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo. In addition to a Donate Life flag being raised at the hospital in honor of Derek, as a symbol of thanks, Kate will be pinning Donate Life pins onto members of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office that worked alongside her husband.
The 128th Rose Parade will start at 8 a.m. PST on January 2, 2017 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 2017 Teammates in Life Donate Life Rose Parade Float, visit http://www.donatelifefloat.org.
Donate Life Colorado “Gift of Life” Balloon at the 42nd Denver Parade of Lights
Before the Rose Parade, donation and transplantation will also be celebrated locally in Denver in the 9News Parade of Lights. On December 2 and 3, this annual holiday tradition will feature the Donate Life Colorado “Gift of Life” balloon, which is a jumbo balloon in the shape of a gift box, honoring those who have donated and representing the hope made possible by donation. Dozens of families of donors and transplant recipients from throughout Colorado will lead the float.
This year marks the 42nd Annual 9News Parade of Lights. The two-mile parade in Downtown Denver is free to attend and features marching bands, ornate floats and a special appearance by Santa. For more information about the 9News Parade of Lights, including the parade route, visit: http://denverparadeoflights.com/.
Donate Life Wyoming float debuts in the Cheyenne Christmas Parade
The Donate Life Wyoming float also made its debut in the Cheyenne Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 26, 2016. A festive group of organ recipients, living donors, donor families and friends came together to ring in the holiday season and celebrate organ, eye and tissue donation. Among the group was a heart recipient from Cheyenne and his donor family from Denver. They had the opportunity to share their incredible story with KGWN/CBS-5 in Cheyenne. See the coverage here.
Local residents can register their decision to be donors by saying ‘yes’ each time they obtain or renew a driver license or state ID, or at DonateLifeColorado.org or DonateLifeWyoming.org anytime.