Families of Organ, Eye and Tissue Donors Hope to Inspire at Local and National Events This Holiday Season
This holiday season, residents of Colorado and Wyoming impacted by organ, eye and tissue donation will be sharing their stories at local and national holiday events to raise awareness for the cause and encourage others to sign up to become donors. Organ donors, Jake Thompson of Colorado and Sam Weaver of Wyoming will represent each state as floragraph honorees in the Tournament of Roses 2021 TV special, “The Rose Parade’s New Year Celebration.” In the weeks leading up to the Rose Parade special, Linden Jobe, wife of local organ donor, Jon Jobe will also share her story with the Colorado community as part of Denver’s 9News Parade of Lights.
“This year has been full of uncertainties for many people in our region, yet our incredibly generous residents continue to look for ways to give back to their community,” said Jennifer Prinz, CEO, Donor Alliance, the federally designated non-profit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming.
“Even amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the need for lifesaving transplants continues. Right now, there are nearly 2,000 people in our region and 115,000 nationwide waiting for a lifesaving transplant. We are hopeful that the impact donation and transplantation has had on the lives of those represented in this year’s holiday events will inspire more Colorado and Wyoming residents and people across the country to sign up to become donors.”
“Community of Life” Donate Life Floral Sculpture Honors Local Donors in 2021 Tournament of Roses Special
On New Year’s Day, as part of the reimagined 2021 Tournament of Roses event, The Donate Life community is preparing a tribute with a floral sculpture that honors donors and health care professionals. The floral sculpture, themed “Community of Life,” features a vibrant floral honeycomb built by bees, sharing the important message that we’re stronger when we work together as a community. Jake Thompson and Sam Weaver will be among 21 hexagonal memorial portraits of donors interwoven within the honeycomb, symbolizing the life donors give through organ, eye and tissue donation.
Jake was 21-years-old when he passed away in a tragic accident. For 30 hours, his family and friends prayed for a miracle, but it was to be that Jake would be the miracle. Jake’s final act of kindness and unconditional love was giving the gift of life to four others through organ, eye and tissue donation. Sam, a
passionate volunteer, devoted teacher and lover of the outdoors, is also remembered in his community for his giving spirit. In 2018, Sam passed away from complications following a surgery. Sam had spoken openly with his loved ones about his decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor—it was one final way for him to give back.
Both Jake and Sam continue to serve as inspiration for their families and their communities, and are remembered for their gifts in life and in death. Their memorial floragraphs on the Donate Life sculpture are sponsored by Donor Alliance. The organization has supported Rose Parade float participants on the Donate Life float for more than a decade.
As the world’s most visible campaign to inspire organ, eye and tissue donation, The Donate Life Rose Parade Experience inspires viewers to help the over 1 million people in need of organ, eye or tissue transplants each year. The Rose Parade TV special will air on various broadcast networks in January 1, 2021. Check local listings for more information.
Donate Life Colorado “Gift of Life” Gift Box at the 9News Parade of Lights
In the weeks leading up to the Rose Parade TV special, donation and transplantation will also be celebrated locally in Denver at the 9News Parade of Lights. This year’s Parade will be a free, multi-week, socially-safe celebration of activities across downtown Denver. The floats, including the Donate Life Colorado “Gift of Life” gift box, will be displayed throughout downtown.
The Donate Life Colorado “Gift of Life” gift box is inspired by Donate Life Colorado’s “Gift of Life” Balloon and honors organ, eye and tissue donors while representing the hope made possible by donation. Thousands of local residents each year are impacted by organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. All are invited to visit DonorAlliance.org/GiftofLife to submit their own “Gift of Life” story or what the “Gift of Life” means to them. The stories will be hung up for all to see inside the life-size gift box located at 1515 Arapahoe Street.
Among those sharing their local “Gift of Life” story this year is Linden Jobe. Linden’s husband Jon passed away in September 2019 at just 30 years old. Jon was able to give the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation. In life and in death, Jon impacted Linden’s life, and the lives of many others, with his thoughtfulness and generous spirit. Jon donated both kidneys, bone and tissue to save and heal the lives of up to 75 people. Linden is so proud of Jon for giving the gift of life to those who desperately needed it. Linden is sharing her story and the hope Jon’s gifts have given her as she grieves such an unimaginable loss. Knowing Jon lives on in others has brought her comfort and she hopes her story will inspire others to sign up to give the gift of life.
The Parade of Lights floats will span from Denver Pavilions to Union Station from Friday, November 27 through Thursday, December 31. For those that can’t attend, 9News will also be telecasting the event on Friday, December 4 at 8p.m. For more information about the 9News Parade of Lights, visit: http://www.downtowndenver.com/9News-parade-of-lights/.