DES MOINES, Iowa — Three Iowans who gave the gift of life through tissue donation will be honored during the 2020 Tournament of Roses parade on New Years Day in Pasadena, California.
In honor of the Iowa Donor Network’s 25th anniversary, each of the honorees have close relationships to the organization. The three honorees include Kayte Mosher of Ottumwa, Mike Nelson of Des Moines and Doug Stewart of Muscatine.
Each donor had a floragraph created by a volunteer who contributed to the Donate Life Rose Parade float. Floragraphs are special portraits of various of organ, eye and tissue donors that are created with organic materials.
The floragraphs were presented to loved ones for the first time at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. The eyebrows of the floragraphs were left untouched so that the family members of each donor could put the finishing touches to the intricate designs created in their memory.
Once completed, the floragraphs will travel back to California to be added the Donor Life Rose Parade float. The Iowa Donor Network is also providing travel and expenses for the families so that they can participate in the parade festivities.
About the Honorees
Kayte Mosher of Ottumwa:
Mosher passed away in 2012 at the age of 20 and became a tissue donor. Mosher donated 278 bone grafts, 45 skin grafts and two heart valves, enhancing the lives of hundreds of people. Following Mosher’s death, her sister, Heather Butterfield, began working at Iowa Donor Network and now serves as their Director of Strategic Communications.
Mike Nelson of Polk City:
Nelson passed away in 2016 at the age of 47 and enhanced the lives of others through tissue and cornea donation. Nelson’s recipients range in age from 74 to a baby under the age of one. At the time of his passing Nelson worked as a Tissue Recovery Coordinator for Iowa Donor Network.
Doug Stewart of Muscatine:
Stewart passed away in 2017 at the age of 52 and gave others the gift of sight through cornea donation. Prior to his passing, Stewart had two liver transplants which prolonged his life. Following his first transplant, Stewart became a passionate donation advocate and member of Team Iowa — a group of transplant recipients that compete at the Transplant Games of America. Stewart’s son, Alex Stewart, is a Network Administrator for Iowa Donor Network.