In January 2010, 22-year-old George Becker was focused on going into the Navy. He was suffering from a bad sinus infection and thought he had beat it. But on Jan. 30, George became very ill and developed a severe headache. He was rushed to the hospital where he was later declared brain dead –the infection had reached his brain. George had registered as an organ donor which meant that he could save the lives of three people. One was a teenager, Alfonso Garcia, who is now 18 and a college student. Alfonso is a tireless advocate for donation who uses George's story to inspire students to register as donors when they obtain their driver's licenses. Alfonso will ride the Donate Life float beside his donor's portrait.
At six-foot, two-inches, George Becker's passion was playing basketball: first in the driveway of his family's home, then as a nine-year-old in a youth league, and throughout his high school years.
In early January 2010, George, 22, was focused on going into the Navy. He thought he had beaten a bad sinus infection and was feeling like his old self again. On Jan. 29, he enjoyed a fun night at the movies with his cousin Brittany. The next day, however, he thought he had come down with the flu, but it worsened and he developed a severe headache. George was rushed to the hospital later in the day, where he was later declared brain dead; the infection had reached his brain.
George had registered as an organ and tissue donor when he received his driver's license at age 16. That decision meant that he would eventually save the lives of three people.
One was a San Francisco Bay Area teenager, Alfonso Garcia, whose parents faced the prospect that their child would die within a few days without a life-saving liver transplant. George's parents, Connie and Rick, met Alfonso, who is now 18 and a college student. Alfonso, is a tireless advocate for donation and uses George's story to inspire high school students to register as donors when they get their licenses. Alfonso will also ride the Donate Life float this year, accompanied by the portrait of his donor.
“Meeting Alfonso and his family was so touching and moving,” said George's mother Connie. “They are humble and grateful. Even if I had never met them, I would still not doubt our decision to donate. But meeting them, seeing what Alfonso has been able to do so far with his life, it's a loving tribute to our son.”