Donor Network West, the federally designated non-profit organ procurement organization for northern Nevada and northern California, will honor three organ donation recipients and two families whose loved ones donated organs at the 133rd Rose Parade® happening Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 in Pasadena, Calif.
Remembering the selfless gifts their loved ones made through organ donation, the Meas and Hammond families will see the memorial portraits of their family members featured on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Riding on the same float will be organ recipients Branden Dever, Selah Kitchiner and Hilda Martinez.
In order of their hometowns, the Rose Parade honorees supported by Donor Network West are:
From Reno, Nev., Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hammond, Donor
Nine-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hammond saved three lives through organ donation after she died in 2019 in a tragic accident when a bounce house, with her inside, was blown into electric power lines. With a generous spirit, Lizzy always raised her hand to help others. She is survived by her parents, Wendy and Mitch Hammond, two younger siblings and an extended network of friends and loved ones.
From Richmond, Calif., Hilda Martinez, Recipient (Co-sponsored by Sutter Health, an affiliate of California Pacific Medical Center)
Experiencing issues with her kidney, Hilda Martinez was preparing to undergo her first dialysis treatments in 2014. Just before her first treatment, a donor match was found and her kidney transplant provided her with the gift of life. Hilda and her husband of 26 years have raised four children. She dedicates her free time to volunteering with Donor Network West, alongside a devoted group of women called, “Las Amigas” who educate the Latino community about the importance of organ and tissue donation.
From Sacramento, Calif., Selah Kitchiner, Recipient (Co-sponsored by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco)
At 13 years old, Selah Kitchiner was diagnosed with liver failure. As she battled her disease in the hospital, her father passed away from his battle with cancer. She received the life-saving transplant just two weeks after her father’s passing. Inspired by her caring and knowledgeable medical team who was there to support her during these difficult times, Selah is now on her way to becoming a doctor herself. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California studying psychology.
From San Jose, Calif., Branden Dever, Recipient (Co-sponsored by The Pediatric Transplant Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford)
Following the diagnosis of stage 4 chronic kidney disease at 15-years old, Branden Dever’s life immediately changed. After experiencing a sharp decline in his kidney function and undergoing painful dialysis treatments for months, Branden was matched with a donor. His transplant surgery in November 2020 was successful and his family looks forward to more time together and seeing him continue to improve and thrive.
From Union City, Calif., Siwutha [See-woo-tah] “Sam” Meas, Donor
Siwutha “Sam” Meas was born in Cambodia and fled the Khmer Rouge Regime with her family to the United States as refugees. With her husband of 35 years, Siwutha was mother to three children and a proud grandmother of six. After years of working to support her family, Siwutha found faith with her church and began finding more time to enjoy life traveling and trying new things. She died in July 2020 and became an organ donor, giving her precious gifts of life to save others.
“We are honored to recognize this year’s Donor Network West participants and their families at the Rose Parade,” said Janice Whaley, president and CEO of Donor Network West. “The donor families who gave others a second chance at life are extending their loved one’s legacy while the living recipients are celebrating their lives with renewed focus and gratitude for the gifts they have been given to live. We encourage everyone to consider registering to become an organ donor so together, we can help save and heal more lives.”
Anyone can register to be an organ donor. To learn more and to register as an organ donor, visit DonorNetworkWest.org.