Through the Legacy of Humankindness grant, JJ’s Legacy and Dignity Health together they have the opportunity to honor a deceased donor from our community who has given the gift of life.
Each year, the sponsored donor is represented on the annual Donate Life Rose Parade Float with a floragraph that the donor’s family is invited to participate in creating. It is a great honor to be a part of this annual display that reminds us of the great gifts that have been given out of tragedy and raises awareness of the importance of registering to become an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Manuela (Nellie) Bolanos
Manuela (Nellie) Bolanos was born in 1948, she was a child of God, filled with his love and compassion. Nellie married Ruben, the love of her life, in 1966 and it was at this time she began her greatest accomplishment of being a wife, mother and grandmother. She raised 6 children teaching them the importance of family and God's love. Nellie's love of children extended beyond home when she began working as a teacher's aide. She took on many different roles and volunteered countless hours assisting with the Girl Scouts, PTA and served as PTA president for many years. Nellie spent 25 years assisting her husband in making beautiful handmade roasaries in which all proceeds benefitted the Catholic Church. The joy of her life was watching her 14 grandchildren grow and actively participate in their lives. Nellie's biggest win in life was being able to say she was a Breast Cancer Survivor. She enjoyed going to Relay for Life every year to particiape in the survivor's lap. Nellie passed away unexpectedly in January 2016. The day before she passed, she had a sense of urgency to have her Advanced Directive signed and in it was her wish to be an organ donor. Nellie must has known she had one final gift to give, and she didn't want to miss the opportunity to help someone. This was her most selfless act.
The 2023 Donate Life Rose Parade® float, Lifting Each Other Up, shares the courage shown by donor families, living donors and waiting recipients by highlighting the winged lion of the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. The courage to hope for a lifesaving transplant, helps recipients as they await for a donor, and the courage to hope that their loved one will save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation, helps grieving families heal and find peace.