40 Local Families Honored During 2012 Rose Parade


UPDATED: Friday December 28, 2012 8:13 AM

Float No. 48 in this year’s Rose Parade will honor 40 Ohio children and their families who made the gift of life possible for others.

The names of those Ohio children will be featured on the Donate Life float in the New Year’s Day parade in Pasadena, Calif.

One of the many notes on the float is to Tim and Tammy Cooper, about their daughter Shelby.

“Thinking of your family and hero, Shelby,” reads the note to the Coopers.

Shelby Cooper was 16 when she died in a car crash.

Cooper was an organ donor, and her parents said it was not a hard decision to pass their daughter’s organs along.

Cooper’s parents, along with 39 other families who had children die in 2012, were honored with roses at a ceremony in central Ohio in advance of the parade.

Aaron Nelms was one of the families who honored those who gave the gifts of life.

“Not a day goes by that we don’t think about and pray for them,” Nelms said.

Nelms’ 3-year-old daughter Avrie is alive because David Phillips’ donated his organs. Phillips died in a car crash at the beginning of the school year while returning to band practice with his friends.

“We didn’t second guess it,” mother Christina Phillips said. “Immediately, within a few minutes, I looked at him and said, ‘definitely.’”

David’s parents said that he had a Donate Life bracelet on when he died.

His parents said that even though their son’s life was cut short, it is an honor to know that because of him, others live.

Once every 48 hours, someone from Ohio dies waiting to receive a transplant.

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