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A Rose Parade float will honor a Newport Beach firefighter whose death gave seven others a chance to live when he became an organ donor.K
“Kevin loved life, he was so full of life,” said Margaret Pryor, mother of Kevin Pryor, who died in June 2008 of a brain hemorrhage. “I know he would like to have other people have the same chance.”
The Donate Life float will feature a phoenix rising 30 feet in the air, its feathers honoring 76 organ donors from 38 states. On Monday morning, Pryor’s family and dozens of his firefighting colleagues gathered at the Lido station to work on a “flora-graph” — a photograph-like image of Pryor’s face created using organic, Rose Parade-approved media. Firefighters and officials, including Chief Steve Lewis, took turns painting with ground rice, coffee and cinnamon to create an all-natural image. Other firefighters wrote messages for Pryor that attached to small rose vials that will be added to the float next week in Pasadena.
Pryor, 31, had been a firefighter since 1999 and had worked in Newport Beach for three years when he died. Pryor’s wanted to be an organ donor, so his family worked with Donate Life to arrange for seven of his organs to be used to help other people.
Bryan Stewart, vice president of communications for OneLegacy, said that donating seven organs was unusual, but that Pryor’s level of fitness from being a firefighter was a major factor. (OneLegacy is an agency that coordinates donations.) The float costs about $200,000, Stewart said, paid for by donations.
This will be the seventh Donate Life float in the Rose Parade, which takes place at 8 a.m. Jan. 1. Pryor’s family will attend, they said. After the parade, they will receive the flora-graph to keep.