10-Year-Old Organ Donor From San Joaquin Valley, California to be Honored During Tournament of Roses Celebration
Francine Salazar Saved Four Lives Through Her Gift of Organ Donation
(Fresno, CA) October 28, 2020 – Donor Network West, the federally designated organ procurement organization for Northern California and Northern Nevada, today unveiled the floral portrait of Francine Salazar at a ceremony in Fresno. Francine will be honored at the 2021 Tournament of Roses Rose Parade® celebration on January 1, 2021. The Visalia, Calif. resident passed away last year at the age of 10 and saved four individuals through the donation of her heart, pancreas, and both kidneys.
Francine, a fun loving aspiring cartoonist and chef, lost her life in 2019 when her family vehicle was struck by another vehicle. She loved art and unicorns and enjoyed dancing and singing to KPOP BTS, Blackpink and EXO.
“I miss Francine every day, but her spirit lives on in us,” said Hanah Keren-Salazar, Francine’s mother. “Knowing that Francine gave the selfless gift of life to others has helped our grieving process and provides my family hope in humanity. Our hearts will be forever changed by the gifts Francine shared with the world.”
The original floral portrait of Francine will be featured in the newly created Bloomfest, an official floral celebration in Pasadena, California. Her floragraph will be one of more than 20 portraits made from organic materials in memory of organ, eye and tissue donors from across the United States.
“Francine is a true hero and her generous spirit will live on through all those whose lives she touched,” said Janice F. Whaley, CEO of Donor Network West. “Her family’s decision to donate life helped save multiple lives and her story continues to inspire others to register to be a donor.”
On January 1, 2021 the Tournament of Roses Association will host a two-hour telecast of entertainment programming delivering a celebratory and hopeful experience to enrich the lives of the community. The entertainment special will air nationally from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on ABC, NBC, Univision, Hallmark Channel, RFD-TV and KTLA in Los Angeles.
Nearly 10,000 people await a life-saving organ transplant in Northern California and Northern Nevada. One organ donor can save up to eight lives and heal another 75 others through tissue donation. To learn more about organ and tissue donation, or to register as a donor, visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or DonorNetworkWest.org.
About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation and research. The organization was established in 1987 and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 45 counties in Northern California and Northern Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest.