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Huckleberries Online

Sat., Dec. 10, 2011, 12:04 a.m.

Rose Bowl Float To Honor Drew Swank

Don Swank dots some glue on a
Don Swank dots some glue on a "floragraph" image of his son Drew, who died after a football collision in 2009, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at Sacred Heart Medical Center while his daughters Rowee (cq), left, and Tara, second from left, and wife Patti look on. Drew's image is one of 72 that will adorn a Rose Parade float honoring organ donors and the image on the table will be reproduced in flowers on the float. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Don Swank dots some glue on a "floragraph" image of his son Drew at Sacred Heart Medical Center while his daughters Rowee (cq), left, and Tara, second from left, and wife Patti look on. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

The memory of Drew Swank (inset photo) will be celebrated in the New Year amid a whirl of flowers and tears. His death in the aftermath of a 2009 high school football game may have robbed his family of his companionship and promise, yet good has come from the tragedy. Surgeons were able to collect organs from Drew’s body and successfully transplant them into people desperate to live. These gifts will be honored in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 2. Artists have created what they call a “floragraph,” an organic portrait of the 17-year-old made of leaves and seeds, coffee grounds and flowers. It will be displayed alongside 71 other portraits as the centerpiece of the Donate Life float that will be constructed of thousands of roses and other flowers. Drew’s former classmates, friends, family and medical providers at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center had lunch and shared memories on Friday/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Has anyone in your family benefitted by an organ donation? And/or: Are you an organ donor?




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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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