Four Oklahomans will be representing their state in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. Mike McClellin, Kaylee Rayburn, Hance Henrie and Sandy Pekrul will be a part of the Donate Life Float and be featured in the parade.
OKLAHOMA CITY (December 27, 2018) — Four Oklahomans will be representing their state in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. Mike McClellin, Kaylee Rayburn, Hance Henrie and Sandy Pekrul will be a part of the Donate Life Float and be featured in the parade.
Every year, LifeShare of Oklahoma helps sponsor the Donate Life Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade to spread the message about organ, eye and tissue donation to a nationwide audience. This allows LifeShare to send one recipient to ride the float and one donor portrait to be honored on the float. This year, the Aidan Hooper Foundation and Promathera Biosciences are allowing LifeShare to send an additional donor portrait and recipient to be honored on the float.
LifeShare is the organ procurement organization in Oklahoma responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant purposes.
The 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, Rhythym of the Heart, highlights the musical diversity and rhythms of Africa. Djembe drums from Senegal, along with a Kuba drum from the Congo will carefully integrate 44 floral portraits in their beautiful design, honoring the brave lives of deceased donors. Overlooking the floragraphs is a dramatic double Senufo mask from the Ivory Coast that gives thanks to ancestors and remembers those who have gone before. The double face suggests male, and female, past, and present generations, as well as the interconnectedness of all of those who have been touched by the power of donation.
This January, Oklahoma will be represented by these individuals:
Hance Henrie – Tissue Donor-Sponsored by Aidan’s Legacy Foundation
Hance was a great friend and son – and had an outgoing personality. He loved helping with church missions. He loved the great outdoors like rock climbing, camping, scuba diving, biking and running. He saw some of the most beautiful wonders of the world.
Hance’s life was tragically taken by the actions of a drunk driver. His family knew that he would have wished to help others through donation. Through Hance, the gift of sight was given to a man so that he could see the beautiful wonders of the world – just like Hance did.
Hance will be honored on the Donate Life Float as a tissue donor in a floragraph. A floragraph is a portrait of the donor, created with floral materials such as seeds, grains, spices, dried flowers and other organic materials. He is one of 44 donors to be featured on this year’s float.
Sandy Pekrul – Organ Donor
Sandy had a huge heart – and would act on her impulse of kindness. She was always found with a smile across her face and flashing her beautiful blue eyes. She deeply loved her friends and family, cherishing every moment together.
After an unexpected tragic event, Sandy did not survive. That day, Sandy became an organ donor, and saved the lives of others, including Mike McClellin, who will be riding the float.
Sandy will be honored on the Donate Life Float as an organ donor in a floragraph. A floragraph is a portrait of the donor, created with floral materials such as seeds, grains, spices, dried flowers and other organic materials. She is one of 44 donors to be featured on this year’s float.
Mike McClellin – Kidney Recipient
Mike was born with Nail Patella syndrome, which affects both the skeletal system and kidneys. He was put on dialysis until he could receive his transplant. On April 1, 2011, Mike received a call that he was getting a second chance at life with a new kidney. Mike is humbled by the lifesaving gift he received.
Nearly 18 years after his lifesaving procedure, Mike enjoys his life to the fullest. He enjoys traveling with his wife, spending time with his grandchildren and competing in the Transplant Games of America. Mike aspires to live every day with adventure.
Mike will be honored as a rider on the Donate Life Float. He is one of 26 donors to be featured as a recipient.
Kaylee Rayburn – Liver Recipient – Sponsored by Promathera
Kaylee was born with a life ending liver disease and placed on the transplant waiting list at just three weeks old. At 11 months old, she received her healthy liver and is living proof how organ donation works.
Kaylee is now a college student and loves to play tennis in her spare time. She is forever grateful for the lifesaving gift she received.
Kaylee will be honored as a rider on the Donate Life Float. She is one of 26 donors to be featured as a recipient.
“We are excited to have so many Oklahomans honored at the Rose Parade this year as they represent the lifesaving gifts of organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Jeffrey Orlowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeShare of Oklahoma. “With a U.S. television audience in the tens of millions and a worldwide audience in the hundreds of millions, these individuals will not only be representing the importance of donation, they will serve as representatives of Oklahoma and the approximately 700 citizens of the state who are waiting on a lifesaving transplant.”
LifeShare encourages everyone across the state to tune-in to watch the 129th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
LifeShare is a nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant purposes. We work closely with five transplant centers and 145 healthcare organizations in the state of Oklahoma to facilitate donation. Additionally, we strive to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation through public education.
For more information about LifeShare, please visit www.lifeshareok.org.