The Ponte family of Sparks placed the final touches to the floral portrait of their daughter, Haylee.
Haylee was an active and vibrant young woman with a heart for her community. She loved to ski, dance, and travel with family and friends. She excelled academically as a biochemistry student at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), hoping to become a physician. She was also an altruist and volunteered her time for a Reno breast cancer charity and at a local hospital.
Haylee died in 2015 at age 19 and went on to save lives through organ and tissue donation. A floral portrait of Haylee will adorn the 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, Rhythm of the Heart, alongside 43 other floragraphs in memory of organ, eye, and tissue donors from across the U.S.
The event, which was organized by Donor Network West – the federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization for Northern Nevada – took place at the Joe Crowley Student Union, located at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Among the speakers were John Lilley, Nevada Regional Director for Donor Network West, Dr. Neda Etezadi-Amoli, Interim Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNR’s School of Medicine, and Nancy Ponte, Haylee’s mother.
The Rose Parade, which will take place in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day, will be watched by an estimated 700,000 spectators and seen by over 63 million television viewers worldwide.
About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation. The organization was established in 1987, and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 40 counties in northern California and Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org or follow us on social media: @mydnwest.