On Thursday November 30, LifeCenter Northwest honored Parker Lang for his gifts of life during an event held at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, WA.
Friends, family, and colleagues of Parker’s mom, Vicki, gathered to witness the unveiling of a floral photograph, called a “floragraph”, of Parker that will adorn the Donate Life Float at the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The finishing touches of the portrait, decorated with seeds and spices, were completed by Parker’s loved ones
and it will be returned to Southern California to be placed on the float. Celebrating its 15th year, the Donate Life Rose Parade float continues its mission to save and heal lives by delivering the message of organ, eye, and tissue donation to the world.
Parker was the type of person who got along with everyone and built meaningful relationships with his friends, so it wasn’t surprising to see the room fill up.
The program was opened with words from Kevin O’Connor, President & CEO of LifeCenter Northwest and Liga Mezaraups, Chief Nursing Officer, Providence Regional Medical Center-Everett. A short video made by Parker’s best friend, Logan McGill, showed the boys fun-loving, goofy side, and displayed the tight-knit friendship the two shared. Logan ended the video with profound thoughts that touched everyone watching, “I will never forget you. Thank you for changing my life.”
The video was followed by George Dean, a longtime family friend who also served as Parker’s mentor when he attended Washington Youth Academy. Parker’s spirit filled the room as Dean shared meaningful memoires spent with the teen.
“He was kind of a free spirit,” George said of Parker, “I tried to be in his life on the most important days.”
Representatives from Washington Youth Academy followed and presented Lang’s mother with a Challenge Coin, used as a traditional salute to fallen cadets.
“He was fulfilling a mission. He gave at the academy, he gave to us, and he gave in his passing,” Pierce said.
Mary Monteleone Raben, a woman who never met Parker, was also in attendance. Though the two had never met, a part of Parker will always be with her. Mary is alive because of Parker’s selfless gift of donation, receiving one of Parker’s kidneys. She is eternally grateful for his final selfless act and was honored to participate in this recognition of a young man whom she will always consider a hero.
The emotional event ended with the floragraph finishing. Vicki, George, Logan, and Mary putting the finishing touches on a floral portrait of Parker to prepare it for placement on the Donate Life Float in Pasadena.
You can see the Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on New Year’s Day.