Blair Shanahan Lane was an 11-year-old girl dancing across the lawn at a relative's property during a Fourth of July party.
A stray bullet fired some distance away suddenly took her life.
Her mother, Michele Shanahan DeMoss, donated her organs.
And to honor that decision and her daughter's memory, DeMoss was one of those selected to ride in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, on New Year's Day morning. DeMoss was on the 10th annual Donate Life float along with two other donors, Molly Noble of Stover, MO, and Landon Mitchell of Solomon, KS, whose portraits were honored on the float.
"I wouldn't be in California 17 months after losing my daughter is there wasn't a purpose," an emotional DeMoss said. "I'm speechless, honestly speechless. The magnitude of people that saw my daughter's face and said her name. It's about making a difference and paying it forward."
Six of Blair's organs were donated, including her heart, which went to a teenage boy. Altogether, Blair saved five lives when hers ended.
The Donate Life float had 32 people on it and 72 organ donors had their pictures displayed. The hope is to spur other organ donations.
DeMoss knows her daughter was watching proudly from heaven as her story was shared.
"I think she would say, 'Mom, I'm so proud of you,'" DeMoss said.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:44:29 GMT
The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month.More >
Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant...More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:42:09 GMT
Canadian police say pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation involving a photographer, his...More >