2018 Floragraph Honorees
Meet our heroic organ, eye and tissue donors.
Drew Lienemann was 18 years old when he passed away. He was handsome, well liked, athletic, smart, funny, kind, and extremely strong in his Christian faith. He was a black belt in taekwondo and was undefeated in sparring competitions covering 29 states. He loved to work out and was very athletic and disciplined. Although he had just started his second semester of his senior year in high school when he died, he still had enough credit hours to not only graduate from high school, but also reach the sophomore year in college, thanks to his college credits. Drew signed up to be an organ donor when he was 16 years old. He was able to donate his kidneys, corneas, heart valve, skin and connective tissue. These donations have helped 194 people so far all over the United States and other countries.Angela’s vibrant personality made her unforgettable in the hearts and minds of her family, friends and everyone she encountered. She lived every day of her 38 years to the fullest. She loved singing, dancing, and acting. Angie also cared deeply about helping others, especially those she felt could not help themselves. She was known to give her own time, talents, and treasures to help people in need, doing everything possible to help provide food and shelter to the less fortunate. Blessed with a beautiful, uplifting voice, Angie sang in the choir, worked in the nursery and was a member of the Drama Group at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit. In 2009, Angie became a nurse and specialized in pediatric nursing. In November 2010, Angela suffered an asthma attack that proved fatal. She had already made the decision to register as a donor, and her tissues and organs helped save and improve the lives of many.Anna’s name means “grace” and that is exactly what she brought to others each day. Anna was filled with grace, joy, perseverance, resolve, patience, and love. She loved her family and her siblings, and she enjoyed playing piano and sharing her passion for music with others. As a proud Texan, Anna loved horses and she enjoyed riding her two horses, and volunteering at SIRE, a therapeutic horse riding organization. She attended Lone Star College with the goal of working as a vet for large animals. At the time of her death, she was working as a wrangler at Cypress Trails Equestrian Center. Anna died when she was 24 because of a brain injury, after being thrown from a horse. Her family takes comfort in knowing she died doing something she deeply loved. Upon her death, it was only fitting for her family to honor her selfless spirit by saying ‘Yes’ to donating her organs, giving a second chance at life to five people in need.Jeff was a firefighter, paramedic, and nurse for 24 years. He was a natural at helping and aiding his fellow human beings. He never complained about his career or the people he assisted over the years. Jeff’s career put him in perilous, life threatening situations. He was grace under pressure at every turn. Jeff volunteered at his local church every year for 17 years, taking youth on canoeing trips around Alaska. He shared his experience as an outdoorsman, firefighter, and nurse with his community, and he inspired young people with his work and experience. Upon his death, Jeff was a donor and his donated tissue helped heal many people. His final farewell on earth was to help others through his gift of life.Logan Brett Leone, lovingly known as "Smash" because he smashed everything in his path, passed away at the young age of 2½ years old. Despite his adventurous nature, he was well mannered, and always sure to say "please" and "thank you." Logan's infectious smile and his cute, little dimple will always be remembered by everyone who met him. Before his passing, Logan’s parents held him in their arms as they said their final goodbyes to their beloved son, and they both made the difficult, but selfless decision to save others' lives by donating Logan's liver, kidneys, and heart valves. Their courageous act of love for their son has saved several lives, including the life of a toddler who was in desperate need of a liver. Logan’s legacy will continue to shine brightly through “Logan’s Light Children’s Humane Education Program” in Brighton, Michigan, a program that educates children about animal care, empathy and respect towards animals.Luke David Bautista was born on April Fool’s Day 2001. He brought love and laughter to everyone he encountered during his 15 years of life. He was kind, caring, funny, unique, adventuresome and creative. He loved music, attended countless rock concerts and was an aspiring drummer. Luke’s light continues to live on through organ donation. He provided 5 lifesaving gifts (his heart, both kidneys, liver and pancreas). He was also able to gift his descending thoracic aorta, which aided in the creation of dialysis ports, and his skin and tissue donations have helped close to 100 people. He is truly a hero in the eyes of his friends and family, not only through his gift of life, but also because of the impact he had on so many. It is so fitting for Luke to be included on the “Gift of Time” Donate Life Rose Parade float because Luke’s impact and inspiration are truly timeless.Melissa Owen’s life was surrounded by color and animation. As a graphic artist, she enjoyed all the sights and sounds of movies, dance, and theatre. She grew up practicing competitive ice-skating, modeling, achieving academic and leadership goals, and participating in school cheer and dance spirit squads. Spending quality time with her young son Wesley and pampering her two dachshunds completed her life. Sadly, on Christmas Eve 2014, a brain aneurysm, quickly followed by a serious stroke, took Melissa’s life at the age of thirty-eight. She had signed up as an organ donor at her local DMV, and a decision that seemed so natural to her resulted in a tremendous gift for three young women, who received Melissa’s heart and lungs. A couple of years later, Melissa’s family met Yolanda, Melissa’s heart recipient, and since their first meeting they have created an instant bond and united the two families. Both Yolanda and Melissa will be honored in the 2018 Rose Parade float.Growing up, Reinaldo García was a very healthy and active boy, who, early in life, demonstrated a high degree of intelligence, curiosity, and the ability to play sports. He started playing T-ball when he was only five, and he continued playing baseball through high school and college, until he had to devote more time to his college studies. He finished his BA in Education in New Jersey and became a very successful Physical Education at a local High School in Newark. He was beginning his sixth year as a teacher when death suddenly surprised him on September 2011. Reinaldo had a very pleasant personality and was very passionate about everything in life. He loved to coach younger athletes and volunteer for all kind of events and activities. Offering Reinaldo’s tissue and corneas for donation is the most important decision his family has ever made. Knowing that a part of Reinaldo is still living in someone else gives his family the strength to continue their lives.Ruth's warmth, love, kindness and grace live on in those who have received her gifts through donation. The recipients of Ruth's tissue and bone allografts received portions of a truly beautiful woman, both inside and out. Ruth devoted her life to nurturing her family, her spirit, her relationships, and her community. She served at her church, the VFW, the local food shelf, local hospitals, and numerous other volunteer endeavors. She kept her life very full and never shied away from hard work. She enjoyed Minnesota lake life, fishing, cooking, gardening, learning, creating and spending time with her grandchildren, family and many friends. In life, Ruth's positive attitude and thoughtful, caring nature touched everyone she met. Although the vacancy created by her absence will forever be unfilled, her sparkle remains alive in the hearts of her family and the many lives she touched through her donation.On April 2007, and after seeing an Alabama Organ Center PSA, Savannah’s family made the decision to donate. While her parents registered online, Savannah learned about donation and insisted that she wanted to become a donor, because she would not need her organs when she would get to heaven. Little did her parents know that exactly one month later, they would lose Savannah in a tragic car accident. When the doctors told her dad that there was no brain activity, he remembered her words, “I won’t need them when I get to Heaven.” Savannah's selfless decision saved seven lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. She loved all people unconditionally. Her decision to donate has led her parents to share her story and advocate for organ donation.