Hoosiers promote organ donation at Rose Bowl Parade

Maria Knowlton

Two Hoosiers are headed to Pasadena, California to make an appearance in the Rose Bowl Parade for a very important cause.

Maria Knowlton and Lee Ann Shafer will represent the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization by placing roses dedicated by Hoosiers all over the state onto the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade float.

Maria is a double lung transplant recipient. She received the life-saving transplant twelve years ago. Lee Ann's son, Thomas, was an organ donor and will be honored in a picture made of flowers. He died in 2007. His organs saved the lives of six people.

"Even the very next day, I felt a closeness with whoever the people were that would receive his organs and a hope that they would be healthy and that they would benefit in some way from a family tragedy that we had," said Shafer.

"I would not be here if it were not for my organ donor. While I was waiting for my transplant, many of my friends passed away waiting for an organ donation, so it really is the difference between life and death," said Knowlton.

The 124th Rose Parade will take place Tuesday, January 1st.