Published: December 14, 2012, 6:06 PM
A Corsica teenager will be honored on a Rose Parade float. Andrea Cleveland died after a car crash last fall but thanks to her organ donations, she helped save five people’s lives.
That action is now representing the Upper Midwest on the Donate Life Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Andrea was a fun-loving, outgoing 16-year-old.
“When she walked in the room, she lit up the room,” Andrea’s father, Jeff Cleveland, said.
But on November 1, 2011, the Corsica teenager lost control of her car on a rural road. She later died at the hospital.
“It took days, maybe weeks for me to realize that she’s actually gone. Every day I’d wait for her to come running down the steps, hearing her footsteps running down to get ready for school,” Andrea’s mother, Marlene Cleveland, said.
One thing that has helped the family heal is the fact that Andrea was an organ donor. Because of that, she was able to save the lives of five people. She also helped others.
“Many people also received tissue grafts from the gifts Andrea gave. She also was able to donate corneas to two people to restore sight,” LifeSource CEO Susan Gunderson said.
The family has met two of the people Andrea helped save: 29-year-old Meleah and two-year-old Keegan.
“It really helped us at Christmas time to know, yah, we’re grieving. I don’t know how we’re going to get through Christmas but then we see the picture of Keegan. Andrea saved this little boy’s life,” Jeff said.
“When they came in the room, I just picked up little Keegan and started hugging and holding him. It’s like holding or hugging Andrea again. I could feel her presence,” Marlene said. …
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