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      Family decorates float to honor late son at Rose Bowl Parade

      Quinn's is one of 72 floral portraits that will adorn the Donate Life float, "Journeys of the heart," honoring the lives and gifts of organ and tissue donors.

      Quinn Vittorio Wilde was less than three months old when he a seizure disorder took his young life. Quinn's family will honor his memory aboard the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade this January in Pasadena, California.

      After seizures stopped his breathing in the middle of the night, Quinn's parents rushed him to the hospital. Testing later confirmed the infant had no brain activity, and was taken off life support on June 7, 2008.

      Quinn's parents, Denien and Patrick Wilde, decided to donate his heart valves with help from Toledo's Community Tissue Services, one of the largest tissue banks in the United States.

      "It was a way to honor his life and his memory, and a way to reach out and help others," said Denien Vittorio Wilde.

      Denien Wilde soon found out that two children's lives were saved because of Quinn's tissue donation. In collaboration with Community Tissue Services, the American Association of Tissue Banks offered to sponsor Quinn's family on the Donate Life float at the 2013 Rose Parade.

      "She's a great speaker and she can really connect with people," said Reg Dawson, Executive Director for Community Tissue Services. "We asked if she would be interested in representing Quinn at the Rose Bowl Parade."

      On Monday, family and friends put the final touches on a floragraph of Quinn. It is one of 72 floral portraits that will adorn the Donate Life float, "Journeys of the heart," honoring the lives and gifts of organ and tissue donors.

      "The design of the float is open hearts, and the honoree's portraits will line the hearts on the float," said Denien Wilde. She continued, "It symbolizes the different ups and downs of different families' journeys through the donation process and the process of grieving."

      Although Denien Wilde will represent Quinn on the float herself, her mother and daughter will also make the trip to Pasadena to show their support on January 1.

      Do you know someone in your community whose donations have made an impact? Let us know on our Facebook fanpage .