Some time ago, I wrote an article titled “The beat goes on: Mom connects with son’s heart recipient.”
It was meant to coincide with National Donor Sabbath Month. Two years later, Lupita LeBario and Steve Bond, the main subjects of that story, are again making headlines.
Bond, a heart transplant recipient, will ride on the Donate Life float during the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. LeBario, whose teenage sonagreed to donate his organs shortly before his accidental death in 2004, will be in the stands anxiously awaiting the arrival of the fourth float in the parade.
The Donate Life float, the tenth entrant in the 121st annual parade, will feature the floragraphs of 77 organ donors nationwide whose ultimate sacrifice gave life to others. Their portraits will surround a Phoenix rising from the ashes, in sync with the float’s theme, “New Life Rises.”
Donor Network of Arizona reports that more than 1,900 people are among some 105,000 in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant. Nearly 1.65 million organ donors are registered in Arizona.
LeBario’s son will be the only donor featured from Arizona and Bond will be the only recipient of 23 riding on the float. The float’s theme has multiple meanings for LeBario.
Her son saved the lives of six people, including Bond, by being an organ donor. LeBario has in turn learned that Bond was adopted as a child and, as a result of their strong relationship, LeBario is now a foster parent to two boys.
In other parade news, the parade’s theme is “A Cut Above the Rest.” FYI, there are 39 floats in next year’s parade including the Boy Scouts of America, which celebrates its centennial next year. Stay tuned to The Catholic Sun for local coverage of the Scouting celebration.
I also noticed one Catholic high school band — from Illinois — in the parade lineup and that there’s at least one Arizona-based drill team among the Equestrian entrants. The Tournament of Roses Parade marches through Pasadena in two weeks.