The parents of 17-year-old Scott Santana say what set him apart was his uncanny gift of bringing sunshine to everyone on even their darkest days. He was generous, and in fact, following a trip to Australia, Scott’s one desire was to make a difference in the world — a world which he suddenly realized was much larger than his small town.
On May 17, 2011, following a fatal car accident, Scott Santana did make a difference in the world and bring the light of hope to six people, when he became an organ donor.
As a registered donor, he also brought the gift of sight to two people and improved the lives of countless others as a tissue donor.
“On the day we received the worst news of our lives, six other families were getting the best news of their lives,” said Scott’s father, Rich Santana.
On New Year’s Day, the positive difference Scott made in the lives others will be honored when his “floragraph” picture is displayed on the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade Float for millions around the world to see.
Prior to that, on Monday, Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m., Scott’s mother, father, sister and friends will come together at Sierra Donor Services, 1760 Creekside Oaks Drive, Suite 220, in Sacramento, to put the finishing touches on Scott’s floragraph — a memorial portrait created with organic materials.
Scott’s floragraph will be one of 72 memorial floragraph portraits placed on the float, depicting loved ones whose donations of organs, eyes and/or tissue saved and healed those in need.
“Our son will forever live on — not only in the memories of the people he knew, but in the lives he touched through his donation,” said his mother, Deanna Santana.
She, too, was forever changed by his decision to give life as a registered donor, and now serves on the staff at Sierra Donor Services, the organ and tissue recovery agency.
Deanna said her son Scott was an exceptional young man who lived every moment to the fullest. She said he was adored by his friends and family because he was genuinely funny and kind.
“Scott saw no boundaries in his friendships and he had friends in every group,” said Deanna. “In the days following his accident hundreds of stories were told to us of his ability to make others smile. There were many people — friends, family and teachers — who looked forward to a ‘Scott sighting’ just to make their day complete and all who knew Scott still miss that smile today.”
Fittingly, the Donate Life float in the 124nd Rose Parade is entitled “Journeys of the Heart,” keeping with the parade theme of “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” derived from Dr. Seuss’s book.
Donate Life urges viewers to follow Scott Santana’s lead and take their own “Journey of the Heart,” by joining America’s 105 million registered donors so everyone whose life depends on a transplant can have one.
Sign up today by visiting donateLIFEcalifornia.org or sign up through the DMV when getting your drivers license.
Sierra Donor Services (SDS) is a non-profit agency dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by providing families the option of organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research.
SDS serves Northern Nevada and Inland Northern California, including Sacramento, 10 surrounding counties, and the community of Santa Rosa. As a division of the DCI Donor Services Inc. family, SDS is one of four locations that includes: DCI Donor Services Tissue Bank, Tennessee Donor Services and New Mexico Donor Services.
For more information visit: sierradonor.org.