Berwyn Life | Brett Schweinberg
But he had no idea that Paco's decision to be an organ donor also would become a defining part of his legacy.
Paco Rodriguez was fighting in a title bout in Philadelphia when he sustained massive head trauma that would claim his life. Although he had discussed organ donation with his wife, his family did not know of Paco's plans.
“We never discussed it,” said Alex. “Him being the youngest one, we always thought I'll be gone way before he's gone.”
Paco's heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and both kidneys wound up saving the lives of five people, including his own uncle, who lives in Chicago. Despite the wrenching loss, the Rodriguezes find solace in the fact that Paco's decision saved so many lives.
Alex Rodriguez, who lives in Cicero, rode on a float in the Rose Parade on Monday. He's also been featured on national news broadcasts, including a 17-minute package on ESPN.
The single father of three rises at 4 a.m. daily so he can finish work by 2 p.m. and be home in time to greet his children after school.
In his spare time, Alex has become an organ donor advocate, specializing in the Latino community. He volunteers with Gift of Hope, an area non-profit organization that aims to boost organ donations, by giving speeches and simply talking to people.