OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Millions of Americans will kick off the New Year with the 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade.
During the parade, two Oklahomans will be represented as part of the Donate Life Float.
Oklahoma will be represented by Morgan Flynn, of Tushka, and David Wheelis, of Oklahoma City.
Flynn was born with Cystic Fibrosis, but she received a transplant that saved her life at a young age. As she got older, the disease continued to take over her body and caused the rejection of her lungs.
Years after a second lung transplant, she ended up in the hospital with lung complications. Eventually, she died from the disease.
She had decided to continue giving, so she donated her corneas and heart valves, saving others’ lives in the same way that her life was saved.
In 2010, David Wheelis learned he had a rare liver disease. After receiving his diagnosis, he knew he would eventually need a transplant.
When he began showing signs of liver failure, his girlfriend, who is now his wife, got tested and donated a part of her liver to him.
David’s life was forever changed and he is now living a healthy life with his wife and their daughter.
“We are thankful to have the opportunity to honor Morgan, David and their families, at the Rose Parade this year as they represent the lifesaving gifts of donation,” said Jeffrey Orlowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeShare of Oklahoma. “With a worldwide audience in the hundreds of millions, Morgan will not only be representing the importance of donation, but she will also serve as a representative of Oklahoma and the approximately 600 citizens of the state who are waiting on a lifesaving transplant.”
The 2023 float will feature a spectacular Chinese street dragon, which symbolizes great power, good luck, and strength. They are also supposed to bring prosperity and abundance.
The 134th Rose Parade will be held on Jan. 2.