A Life That Saved Five People To Be Remembered Among the Roses
New Providence Patch | Jason Cohen
In 1997, the life of 17-year-old Roberto Perez was taken much too early. But, in his passing, Perez, who was an organ donor, saved five lives.
Each year in Pasadena, California, where the Tournament of Roses parade takes place, there is a Donate Life Float for families and recipients of organ donors. After watching the parade for 14 years, Maria and Carlos Perez were selected this year to be one of 28 riders on the float.
On Saturday Dec. 10, the NJ Sharing Network in New Providence, hosted the Perez family and other organ donor families as they decorated a floragraph of Roberto, which is a memorial portrait of their son. The Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life saving transplants.
Roberto was a star soccer player from North Bergen, who died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. He saved a 63-year-old man with his heart, a 40-year-old man received his kidney and pancreas, a 51-year-old man received his lungs, a 46-year-old man received his liver and a 30-year-old man received his other kidney.
“It’s very important to let people know how important it is to be a donor,” Maria Perez said. “I feel very proud and very honored that my son’s spirit is still here.”