Family to celebrate son’s memory at parade

ARKANSAS Three Rivers Edition | Angela Spencer

From left, Rodney, Will and Kristy Cotillier hold the florograph of Evan Cotillier that will be on the Donate Life Rose Parade float Monday.
CABOT — No parents want to talk to their teenagers about being an organ donor. Talking about death and what happens while a body is still technically alive, but the person is gone, is not a pleasant conversation, especially when one is talking to a vivacious teen who is supposed to live for a long time.

In fact, Rodney and Kristy Cotillier did not want to have the conversation with their 16-year-old son, Evan, when he brought it up. Evan had watched the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith, in which organ donation is a major theme, and wanted to make sure he could help people, even if something tragic happened to him.

“We never went to him [about organ donation],” Kristy said. “He had watched the movie and went to his dad and asked a million questions. [Rodney] brushed him off — that’s not something you want to talk about with your teenager — so Evan came to the kitchen and asked me.”

Kristy said she tried to brush him off, just as his dad had done, but Evan was persistent. Evan was concerned that because his epilepsy prevented him from getting a driver’s license, there would be no place to indicate he wanted his organs donated.

“I said, ‘Evan, I would have to tell them,’” Kristy said. “And he said, ‘Will you tell them?’ He was persistent.” Continue reading