University of Nevada, Reno student Jake Sullivan Roman saved three people through organ donation. Donor Network West honored Jake and his family with the creation of a floragraph portrait. Jake’s floragraph, made entirely out of organic materials, will be featured on the Donate Life parade float in the 135th Rose Parade® on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 in Pasadena, California.
Two days before his 21st birthday, Jan. 20, 2020, Jake died from injuries he suffered in a tragic accident. As a registered organ donor, his liver and both kidneys saved three people. He was an active athlete who competed in football and wrestling at Carson High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he was top of his class. He was awarded his degree in chemistry posthumously in 2020 from the University.
“I was really impacted by the letters we received from the recipients of Jake’s gifts,” said Susan Roman, Jake’s mom. “I had never thought about organ donation very much before and how impactful it is to the recipient families.”
Donor Network West is a sponsor of the 2024 Donate Life Rose Parade® float, which will feature organ donors represented by floragraphs as well as individuals from across the U.S. who are transplant recipients and living donors. The 2024 Donate Life parade float, titled “Woven Together: The Dance of Life,” aims to inspire viewers to join the registry as organ donors and to give hope to the 100,000 people who are on the national transplant wait list.
The Nevada Organ and Tissue Donor Program, a program of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, partners with Donor Network West and other resources to assist the nearly 700 Nevadans who are currently awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. Donor Network West works to educate northern Nevada communities about organ donation and encourage more people to join the registry as organ, eye and tissue donors. To learn more or enroll in the registry visit the Nevada Organ and Tissue Donor Program.
Additionally, those interested in contributing to the future of medical science can make a difference in the lives of others through anatomical donation. Through anatomical donation, medical researchers and educators from the Nevada School of Medicine can contribute to finding cures and treatments for diseases such as breast cancer, muscular dystrophy, neurological disorders and more.
“Organ donor heroes like Jake save lives and their legacies live on in transplant recipients who have been given a second chance at life,” said Janice Whaley, president and CEO, Donor Network West. “It’s a privilege for Donor Network West to honor organ donors like Jake and their families. In sharing Jake’s story with our northern Nevada community and with the nation during the Rose Parade, we aim to raise awareness of the vital impact of organ, eye and tissue donation to help heal and save more lives.”