Rose Parade: Salinas organ donor and recipient to be honored

Monterey Herald | Amy McDermott

George Grimm, who received a heart and kidney transplant in 2014, will be on the Donate Life Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day. Courtesy of Donor Network West

SALINAS >> Two Salinas families connected by the gift of organ and tissue donation will celebrate life and the power of community in the 2016 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.

George Grimm, 62, received a heart and kidney transplant in 2014. This year he will sit atop Donate Life’s Rose Parade float with 24 other tissue and organ recipients on New Year’s Day. The float will feature portraits of over 70 donors from around the country, including 31-year-old Sisto Fuentes, the man who saved Grimm’s life.

The float, “Treasure Life’s Journey,” is sponsored by organ recovery organizations nationally. This year, Donor Network West, based in San Ramon, partnered with Tissue Banks International in Richmond to honor Grimm and Fuentes on the float, said Noel Sanchez, public affairs manager for Donor Network West.

While Grimm didn’t know Fuentes personally, they were connected through his brother, Freddie Fuentes. They met in 2010 through the Alvarez Titan youth football program, where Grimm’s grandson played with Freddie Fuentes’ son. Continue reading