A teenager from South Carolina and surgeon from New Jersey will be two of 44 organ donors honored on the annual Donate Life Rose Parade Float this January. Drew David and Dr. Randy Giles will each be memorialized with a floragraph, an artistic floral portrait.
The floragraphs were made possible by We Are Sharing Hope SC, Donate Life South Carolina, and New Jersey Sharing Network, with sponsorship from Bridge to Life.
Robert “Drew” E. David IV was a starting wide receiver on the Camden High School football team and a pitcher for the school’s baseball team. At just 17 years old he tragically lost his life in a 2015 car accident. Due to registering as an organ donor when he received his driver’s license, four lives were saved from organ transplants and a fifth person was given the gift of sight.
“There’s a part of him that lives on, and there’s a part of him that helped someone else live on as well. He’s being honored and he’s going to represent our state in the Rose Parade and that’s just something that’s pretty unbelievable for us as a family to get to experience and relive,” said Trey David, Drew’s father.
“In this season of giving thanks, we are deeply grateful for his selfless gift of life,” said Aaron Gilchrist, global sales director at Bridge to Life Ltd. “It is a great privilege to pay this special tribute to Drew David’s life. He is truly a hero. We hope that by honoring Drew’s story in this unique way, his legacy will live on and others will be inspired to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.”
Dr. Randy Giles was a trauma surgeon. He died suddenly in 2012 at age 43 of an aneurysm, but he donated his organs to The Sharing Network, an organization that matches organs and tissues for life-saving transplants.
“The fact that in the tragedy that befell him he was still able to continue on saving lives is just as important. He was a special person,” says New Jersey Sharing Network president and CEO Joe Roth. “I unfortunately never got to meet him, but so many people that I work with and that I’ve met knew him and he was truly special.
Mike Callahan of Rhode Island received Randy’s lungs and recently was able to meet his family. Giles’ two kidneys and liver have also saved the lives of three other people.
“It’s just so fitting that he saved lives with his hands for so many years and in his final act, he’s continued to save lives” said his former colleague Rodger Davenport.
Now celebrating its 16th year, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float continues to inspire people to register as organ donors. Each year the float features floragraphs of deceased donors while living donors and recipients ride or walk beside the float.