2019 Rose Parade Float
Age 14 years old
Donated on 11/6/2014
A Smile To Light Up The Room
Jacob Mendiola was born on May 23, 2000 with Down syndrome, but was high functioning. As an only child, he held a special bond with his mother. He loved being able to do things on his own. He started school as an infant and even rode the school bus at 18 months.
Jacob had a passion for sports and played for League of Dreams. He also loved to play vido games, swim, dance and spend time with family. Jacob thought everyone was his friend. His mom recalls, we would be driving and he would wave at the car next to us and I would tell him to stop, you don’t know them. He would smile and respond, “mom….my friend.” When someone would wave back he had the biggest smile and would say, “see my friend.”
Jacob had just begun his freshman year of high school in the fall of 2014. Jacob died in an accident at age 14. While his passing has left a hole in the family’s hearts that can never be filled, his mom knew right away she would donate his organs.