PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On New Year’s Day, flower-laden floats will roll through Pasadena, Calif. for the 126th time.
It’s the 12th year for the “Donate Life” float, honoring organ, tissue and cornea donors.
Portraits called “floragraphs” will recognize 72 donors, including Pittsburgh Police officer and tissue donor Paul Sciullo, killed in the line of duty.
“He always wanted to make a difference,” announced Susan Stuart, president and CEO of the Center of Organ Recovery and Education. “And what better way to make a difference than as a Pittsburgh police officer.”
She says the organization is one of 58 such centers in the nation. Officer Sciullo’s final gift was celebrated at CORE headquarters in RIDC Park.
Twelve living donors will march beside the float in Pasadena, including a Charleston, W.Va. woman who donated a kidney to a stranger.
“A lady in Maryland, who was living for four years a very painful life of kidney disease, and now is back to a productive life,” says donor JoAnne Burka. “I’ve had the pleasure of even talking to her on the phone.”
The officer’s parents will never stop grieving. But Susan and Max Sciullo take solace in the fact that their son’s donor status has improved the lives of so many others.
“You have all walked every step of this journey with us,” Sue Sciullo told those in attendance. “We would not have made it without all of you. We above all want to thank Paul, who, by the way he lived his life, made a difference in all of our lives.”
Zone Five police officers signed a rose vial, to honor their fallen comrade. And Paul Sciullo’s family capped the day by adding finishing touches to the floragraph, bound for Pasadena.
Officer Sciullo has never stopped helping others. More than five years after his life came to a tragic end in Stanton Heights, he continues to make a difference.
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