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Rose Parade Float to Carry 'Floragraph' of Pa. Organ Donor

The floral image of Pennsylvania native Krysta Hankee, who died in 2007 at age 22, will be part of the Donate Life Float in the Tournament of Roses parade Jan. 1.

The Hankee family with their daughter’s floragraph. From left, Krysta’s grandmother Mary Schuster, brother Kyle Hankee, mother Chris Hankee and father Bill Hankee. Credit: Gift of Life Donor Program
The Hankee family with their daughter’s floragraph. From left, Krysta’s grandmother Mary Schuster, brother Kyle Hankee, mother Chris Hankee and father Bill Hankee. Credit: Gift of Life Donor Program
When the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade gets under way Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif., one of the floats that will make its way along the parade route will be carrying the floral image of Pennsylvania native Krysta Hankee, who died in 2007 at age 22.

The memorial "floragraph" of Hankee, whose organ donations are credited with saving five lives, will be part of the Donate Life Float in the 5.5-mile parade. 

The float will include 79 other memorial “floragraphs” of donors and 30 transplant recipients. Also, 12 living donors will ride the float or walk alongside it.

On Sunday, Hankee's family and friends gathered to complete the memorial “floragraph,” which is made of seeds, dried flowers and other organic elements. It is based on a photo of Krysta chosen by her family. 

Krysta Hankee, a native of Germansville (Lehigh County), had collapsed while exercising in a gym in New York City in September 2007 and died a few days later, according to information on the Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund website. She had graduated from Northwestern Lehigh High School in 2003, attended The American University in Washington, D.C. for two years, and graduated from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University in Manhattan, with a degree in marketing and foreign Business.  She worked as an assistant project manager at Triangle Equities of Whitestone, where she was working at the time of her death.

Hankee's family will leave for California Friday and will have the opportunity to work on the float before the parade.

The Gift of Life Donor Program is sponsoring their trip.

Since 1974, Gift of Life has served as link between donors and patients awaiting life-saving transplant in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, according to a release. The program has coordinated more than 35,000 organ transplants and more than 500,000 tissue transplants.

For more information about the Donate Life Tournament of Roses Parade float, go to the official float website at www.donatelifefloat.org.

To register as an organ and tissue donor, go to www.donors1.org or call Gift of Life at 1-800-DONORS-1 (1-800-366-6771).

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