An Iowa teen who died in an accident with a fire truck will be one of 40 organ donors remembered on a Rose Parade float. Erika Schwager of West Des Moines was 16-years-old when she died in the accident. Iowa Donor Network spokesman Paul Sodder says they nominated Erika to be featured on the float.
Sodders says Erika’s parents have been very instrumental since the accident three years ago in going out and talking to young people about the importance of putting “yes” on their driver’s license for organ donation. So, they nominated Schwager to be one of the people featured in the floragraph on the float. The floragraph is made from flowers, seeds and other natural items to show a likeness of Schwager on the float. Sodders says the teen help save the lives of others in her death because she agreed ahead of time to donate her organs.
Sodders says one of the things Erika’s mom Betty says is the decision to donate their daughter’s organs was made easier by the fact that she had decided when she got her license to donate her organs, and she let her mom know of the decision. Sodders says Erika is an example for everyone when it comes to organ donation.
He says the best thing for people to do is to sign up on the Iowa Donor Registry by saying “yes” to organ donation on their driver’s license or by going on-line to Iowadonorregistry.org. Erika’s parents will travel to California to view the float in person and watch the entire parade from the grandstand. The theme of this year’s “Donate Life” float is “New Life Rises.” Sodders says over 500 Iowans are waiting for organ transplants in Iowa. Find out more about the float at: donatelifefloat.org.