Petal girl to be memorialized for organ donation at Rose Parade

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The life of a 16 year-old girl who became an organ, tissue and eye donor will be memorialized on a float in the 12-th Rose Parade on January 1, 2013 in Pasadena, Ca.

Holland Shoemake gave life to people waiting desperately for a life-saving transplant after she died in a tragic car accident in 2004.

Her parents, Jason and Vicki Shoemake, will add the finishing touches to the "floragraph" of Holland that will be featured on a float in the world-renowned parade. The "finishing touches" ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2013, at Magnolia Baptist Church.

The floragraph was created by volunteers with DonateLife in California. Since 2004, DonateLife has sponsored a float in the Rose Parade to raise awareness of the need and value of donation within this country.

"I think she would be so proud to know that others are able to go on because of Holland," said Holland's mother, Vicki Shoemake.

Vicki is a Family Care Specialist who handles donor family follow-up as well as donation authorization in the hospitals of South Mississippi. She joined Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency about three years after Holland became a donor at Forrest General Hospital in 2004. Vicki will participate in the DonateLife events both as a donor mom and as a representative of MORA. Her husband, Jason, has been an active volunteer in MORA's South Mississippi events, working around his schedule as a captain in the Hattiesburg Fire Department.

"I'm excited to go there on Holland's behalf. I'm proud of my little girl," said Vicki.

The floragraphs of 72 donors from all over the United States are memorialized on the float. The Shoemakes' participation marks the first time that MORA has sponsored a donor family in this world-famous event.

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