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Published on December 08, 2014

Organ donor, parents to be honored during Tournament of Roses Parade


A Greater Binghamton couple whose son was a tissue and cornea donor will be honored at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

James and Constance Pratt have been chosen by the Center for Donation and Transplant in Albany to join 71 other donor families from across the country in participating in the nationally televised parade.

The Pratts' son, Jonathan, was 35 when he died in 2012 after being hit by a car.

"The Never-Ending Story," a special float developed by the national Donate Life America organization, will appear in the parade to commemorate organ donation.

Flower portraits of Jonathan Pratt and other deceased donors will appear on the float, which will be accompanied on its route by organ recipients and living donors.

UHS and The Center for Donation and Transplant will hold a news conference at 2 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 12, in Room 5AB, on the fourth floor of the Picciano building , UHS Wilson Medical Center, Johnson City. Media coverage is invited.  If you plan to attend, please contact UHS community Relations at 762-2336.

Those attending the news conference will include Jonathan's parents and one of his nurses, Carisa Darling, RN, of UHS Wilson, along with organ donation healthcare professionals from UHS and the center in Albany.

More than 50 organizations supporting Donate Life America's life-saving mission recently unveiled the 12th Donate Life Rose Parade Float in California.

It features butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize the enduring power of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. The float and its honored participants are the centerpiece of a national campaign leading up to the 2015 Rose Parade, whose theme this year is "Inspiring Stories."

"Every donation of organs, eyes and tissue begins an inspiring story that lives on forever," said Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee. "In their passing, deceased donors open up a world of health, sight and mobility to people in need."

Jonathan Pratt was a registered donor when he was killed in 2012.

Following his death, his parents discovered on his personal computer a manuscript he had written titled "The Purpose and Love Manifesto."

They have subsequently published the manuscript as a book in the hope that his legacy of purpose, love and giving will live on. The book is available locally and will be on display at the news conference.

Since its debut on New Year's Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float has become the world's most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ, eye and tissue donors.

The campaign began as an idea expressed in a letter by lung recipient Gary Foxen of Orange, Calif., who wanted to show gratitude to donors who make life-saving transplants possible.

Now in its 12th year, the float entry is celebrated at hundreds of events nationwide where families put the finishing touches on florograph (a picture of the donor made out of plants/flowers) portraits and donation and transplant professionals present dedicated roses to donor families, living donors and community partners who play a role in making donation possible. The florograph will be on display at the news conference.

Donation experts say that one person can save up to eight lives through the donation of vital organs - heart, kidney, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine - and help 50 people or more who need corneas to see, skin to heal from burns, and bones and connective tissue for common knee, back and dental surgeries.

In addition, approximately 6,000 lives per year are saved by living kidney and liver donors.

Anyone can sign up when renewing a driver's license or state identification, or by visiting

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl college football game. 

The 126th parade will take place on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, at 8 a.m. (PST), featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands.  Following the parade, the 101st Rose Bowl Game will start at 1:30 p.m. (PST).