Each New Year’s Day, Donate Life America honors organ donors across the country with a Rose Parade float that bears the floral portraits of donors who have died, transplant recipients who ride along beneath their portraits and living donors and family members who walk alongside the float.
This News Year’s Day, Adam Fletcher Lively, a Kingsport native and a student at East Tennessee State University when he died from injuries suffered in a car crash in 1998, will be among Donate Life America Rose Parade honorees.
Tennessee Donor Services is a float sponsor and will send Adam’s parents, Dave and Barbara Lively of Kingsport, to Pasadena to be a part of the parade as well.
Lively told his mother he had decided to be an organ donor just six weeks before the deadly accident, TDS said. Because of his decision, five lives were save and more than 50 others were improved by his organs, eyes and tissue.
“Adam already made the decision for us,” Barbara Lively said in a recent interview with TDS. “It was a decision that we have never regretted.”
Titled “Light Up the World,” the Donate Life America float is a representation of how the legacies of organ donors continue to illuminate lives of those who received their gifts.
The float will be distinguishable by five enormous floral lanterns bearing the portraits of 81 deceased donors and illuminating 30 transplant-recipient riders seated in a dedication garden fashioned from thousands of roses bearing personal messages of love, hope and remembrance for the donors.
Most of the donors’ portraits, including Adam’s, have been decorated by their family and friends. The finishing touches on Adam’s portrait were added by his friends and family and fellow students at Dobyns-Bennett High School at the Dec. 16 D-B Holiday Concert at the Eastman Auditorium. The concert featured the school’s orchestra, band and chorus and was selected for the tribute because of Adam’s love for the years he spent in the D-B Show Choir.
Adam graduated from D-B in 1994 and was studying philosophy at ETSU in January 1998 when the accident occurred. He and some friends were returning to the university when the car’s driver swerved to avoid hitting an animal and lost control. The vehicle rolled, causing Adam to suffer a severe head injury from which he died four days later. He was 22.
TDS said his parents have been strong proponents of organ and tissue donation since the accident and have been an inspiration to other Donate Life volunteers across the local region. Their service to Donate Life TN/VA spans more than 15 years and includes numerous speaking engagements at high schools, churches and community events. For many years, Dave Lively also served with Transplant Services International, teaching other volunteers how to tell their stories.
Donate Life urges Rose Parade viewers across the world to help save and improve the lives of more than a million people in need of organ, tissue and cornea transplants by agreeing to be a donor when renewing their driver’s license or by registering to be a donor at DonateLifeAmerica.org.
Registration opportunities and more information about organ and tissue donation is also available at www.donatelifetn.org and www.tds.dcids.org.