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Donate Life California seeks donors at Kingdom Day Parade

January 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
One of the floats in Monday's Kingdom Day Parade embraced Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of service to others. The hope is that it will inspire many more people to save lives by becoming organ donors.

At the 27th Annual Kingdom Day Parade, a group decked out in green shirts is riding high atop a double-decker bus.

"We are here to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream and our dream for everybody to sign up to be an organ donor," said L.A. resident Sydney Sims.

Donate Life California wants everyone to get on board and sign up on the Donate Life registry. One organ donor can save up to eight lives.

Gloria Rodriguez received a double lung transplant in 2005.

"I'm riding this in honor of my donor family," said Rodriguez. "I don't know her. She was somebody's mother, somebody's sister, somebody's daughter. And I'm living through her."

Jessica Morales, 24, received a transplant from her uncle after pre-cancerous tumors were discovered on her liver. She says if you're not already a donor, you should reconsider.

"I know it's a personal choice, but still, it helps save lives. It helped save my life," said Morales.

Every day 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant. Every 13 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list.

Jo Merriweather is one of the 112,000 people waiting for a lung donor. She's been on the list for 16 months, but remains optimistic. Being a part of the parade helps lift her spirits.

"There's so much to keep me going, and there's so much that encourages me," said Merriweather.

By signing up for the donor registry, parade-goers can show their support in the most meaningful way.