Fallen Heroes to be Honored on the Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade®

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WHITTIER, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fallen California law enforcement heroes will be honored in a special
way in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade®. Today families of fallen
officers attended a Donate Life rose dedication ceremony at the Los
Angeles County Sheriff’s Department STARS Center, hosted by Donate Life
California and the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation. The
families were presented with certificates and roses in honor of their
loved ones’ service and sacrifice and were given the opportunity to
write special dedications to their fallen officers. Those dedications
will be placed with white Akito roses on the Donate Life float, which
showcases the lifesaving importance of organ, eye and tissue donation,
honors donors and their families, and recognizes all who make donation
and transplant possible.


Margo Diamond’s father, Officer Shaun Diamond, of the Pomona Police
Department, was killed in the line of duty on October 29, 2014. The
16-year law enforcement veteran and SWAT officer was serving a search
warrant when he was shot. Despite exhaustive lifesaving efforts, Officer
Diamond didn’t survive his injuries. Margo says despite their grief, she
and her family didn’t hesitate to consent to organ donation because she
knew it’s what her father wanted. Years earlier he had donated a kidney
to his son, Kelly, whose own kidneys had failed due to a condition he’d
had since birth. Officer Diamond saved many lives both as a living
kidney donor and as a deceased organ donor.

“We know what it’s like to watch a loved one’s life hang in the balance
waiting for an organ transplant,” said Margo. “Not everyone can be a
living donor like my dad was, but everyone can register to be a donor
after they’re gone to help people like my brother. Everyone has a Kelly
Diamond.”

Nearly 22,000 people in California are waiting for lifesaving organ
transplants, 85 percent of which need kidneys.

“All law enforcement officers put on their uniforms every day knowing
the inherent risks they face. Despite those risks, they have sworn to
serve and protect. To save lives even if it costs their own. That alone
is heroic,” said Tom Mone, Donate Life California board member and
Donate Life float chairman. “In some cases law enforcement officers and
their families make another heroic choice…a choice to say “yes” to
organ, eye and tissue donation. Today we honor them and all of our law
enforcement heroes.”

“We continue to remember and mourn the loss of each fallen law
enforcement officer who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Asst. Sheriff
Todd Rogers, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “We ask a lot of
our law enforcement, and each and every day police officers go out there
and leave their families to protect others. That commitment to service
is one that is instilled in the very best of us, and we have chosen this
profession despite the tremendous responsibility and risk. We will
forever be grateful to these heroes who wore the badge and for the
lasting contributions and life they have given others in the communities
we serve.”

“This ceremony honors the service and sacrifices of law enforcement
officers and their families, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said
Wayne Quint, executive director of California Peace Officers’ Memorial
Foundation. “But it also brings attention to something we can all do to
serve our communities – registering to be organ, eye and tissue donors.
It’s something that takes almost no time at all, but it could make a
huge difference to the people on the transplant list and their families.”

This year’s Donate Life float theme, “Teammates in Life, reflects
the team effort that makes organ, eye and tissue donation and transplant
possible. It also fits into the spirit of the parade theme, “Echoes of
Success,” which reminds us that no one succeeds alone. The 2017 Donate
Life Float’s Polynesian-style catamaran will sail down the streets of
Pasadena during the 128th Rose Parade® on January 2, 2017.

The families of the following fallen officers, in order of End-of-Watch
(EOW) date, were honored today and dedicated roses for the Donate Life
float:

Sergeant
Scott Paul Lunger, Hayward Police Department, EOW 7/22/15

Officer
Shaun Diamond, Pomona Police Department, EWO 10/29/14

Officer
Nicholas C. Lee, Los Angeles Police Department, EOW 3/7/14

Deputy
Eric A. Thach, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 10/8/99

Deputy
John Paul Monego, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 12/12/98

The names and biographies of all California peace officers who have died
in the line of duty can be found at www.camemorial.org
under the “Honor Roll” tab.

Fast
Facts
from Donate Life California:

  • 22 people across the country die each day awaiting lifesaving organ
    transplants.
  • One in five on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list lives in
    California.
  • All major religions support or permit organ, eye and tissue donation.
  • You’re never too old or sick to be a registered organ, eye and tissue
    donor.

About the Donate
Life Float in the 2017 Rose Parade®
:

The 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade float, Teammates in Life,
reflects the parade’s theme, “Echoes of Success,” by reminding us that
no one succeeds alone. We all thrive by working together and pulling in
the same direction. Donors save the lives of grateful recipients and
help families heal, and it is the large community of registered donors
that makes it possible to save thousands of lives across the country
each year.

The float design depicts a spectacular Polynesian catamaran, which will
be propelled by a team of 24 organ, eye and tissue transplant recipients
rowing in unison with strength gained from their donors. The sails of
the vessel will feature 60 floral portraits (floragraphs) of donors
interwoven with Polynesian designs and patterns. Just as the donors’
gifts empower the lives of others, the sails help power the catamaran on
its journey. Sixteen living donors will walk alongside the float
carrying flowers in celebration of the life they have given to others
and the quality of life they continue to enjoy themselves. The ocean
waves will showcase 1,000 white Akito roses, individually dedicated in
memory of specific donors. Vibrant i’iwi and ‘amakihi birds perch among
the lush landscape of tropical flowers and palm threes while a pair of
tikis, representing light and life, abundance and peace, peer out of the
jungle. The float will exude life with colorful, exotic blooms grown in
Hawaii especially for the occasion. The float will sail down the streets
of Pasadena during the 128th Rose Parade on Monday, January 2, 2017, at
8 a.m. (PST).

About Donate Life California

Donate Life California is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ, eye and
tissue donor registry. Individuals can add their name to the registry by
checking “YES!” every time they renew/apply for their driver license or
ID card at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This
ensures their desire to donate life will be carried out. A pink “DONOR”
dot is added to their driver license or ID as a symbol of their
decision. Individuals can also sign up online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org
or www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.
As a public service the registry ensures all personal information is
kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to
authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual
donation opportunity. The registry is administered by Donate Life
California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ
procurement organizations (OPOs): Donor Network West, Lifesharing,
OneLegacy and Sierra Donor Services.

About the California Peace Officers’ Memorial
Foundation

The California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit
charitable foundation whose mission is to recognize and honor
California’s peace officers who gave their lives “in the line of duty”
serving the citizens of this great state and provides support to the
family members left behind. For more information, go to www.camemorial.org.

Contacts

Donate Life California
Brianne Mundy Page, 858-220-8351
brianne@donateLIFEcalifornia.org
Electronic
Media Kit: http://bit.ly/DLCMediaKit
or
OneLegacy
Tania
Llavaneras, 213-503-9285
tllavaneras@onelegacy.org
or
Los
Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Nicole Nishida, 323-810-1973
nnishida@lasd.org