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Stewart movingly chronicles the story of how the subject of organ and tissue donation became the centerpiece of beautiful floral tributes in Pasadena, Calif.’s famous Rose Parade. As chair of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee, he is uniquely well-equipped to write this detailed, 12-year account of how the idea of publicizing organ donations at the Rose Parade, first hatched in 2002, became a reality. Stewart’s passion for his cause shines through this inspiring narrative.
Readers will never again watch the Rose Parade in the same way because Stewart’s book describes a process that chronicles a gritty, and sometimes difficult, blueprint for success. If you ever need a ‘how to’ on turning a dream into reality, keep ‘Hope Blooms’ on your bookshelf. ‘Hope Blooms challenges readers with a great deal of technical detail, but the author is very successful in interweaving dozens of stories of heroism that put humanity front and center and make all of us pause to think about the important world of donation and transplantation.
As both an avid reader and advocate for whole body donation, ‘Hope Blooms’ is wonderful. A few times all I could think was, ‘I’m not crying, you are crying!’ It mixed just the right number of emotional stories to truly understand the purpose and meaning of the float with the operational and organizational trials and triumphs it took to get the program to where it is today.
I could not put it down! This book is a wonderful story of how Donate Life’s Rose Parade float came together to bring the faces of donation to so many. Reading this, I relived my amazing experience in Pasadena, where I was honored to represent organ procurement professionals and my state. There is no other experience like it anywhere, and this book captures those moments in fantastic detail. Whether or not you’ve been personally involved in the tradition, this is a must read!
‘Hope Blooms’ captured our attention and was hard to put down without reading just one more chapter! The vision and history behind the Donate Life float was most interesting and so vividly described. As we read through the pages, we laughed, shed a tear or two, and relived our incredible experience as donor parents of our daughter Karlynn, a floragraph honoree in the 2008 Rose Parade. It is a must-read for those who have had the privilege to be involved with the Donate Life float at any level.
I just finished ‘Hope Blooms’ with tears in my eyes and filled up with feel good. The book describes the fierce dedication of a core group that breathed life into the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, and their beautifully articulated journey is a reminder about the power of meaningful work. Bryan has captured what I have felt every minute of my 20 years working in the transplant/donation field: grateful and humbled to have a front row seat to the most meaningful human moments on the planet.
Wow! Who knew? This well-written history weaves together hope, sorrow, and gratitude into a compelling read that explores the depth and breadth of human experience. It reminds me why I’m in health care professionally. It affirms that one person can make a huge positive impact for so many others, while also demonstrating the value of teams and personal relationships. ‘Hope Blooms’ is a stellar example of how tragedy can turn into blessing. In a word, inspirational.
‘Hope Blooms’ captures the true essence of what the Donate Life Rose Parade Float is: beauty, history, art, life, death, joy, sadness, pain, comfort, healing, and hope. There is nothing else like it, anywhere in the world. The care and detail Bryan took to do justice to the people and the lives the float represents is clear from start to finish. This book captures the gift that the float is and shares it for all to experience for themselves.
A fascinating inside look into what has become the single most powerful and uniting event each year in the donation and transplantation community. As both the son of a tissue and eye donor and a 20-year professional in the field, it was truly a pleasure to get intimate details about the planning and design process and the incredible hard work and dedication it takes each year to pull this event off. Simply excellent!
This is a wonderful story of passion, tenacity, and, above all, hope. Their incredible effort brought organ and tissue donation into millions of living rooms. Bryan tells the story of how this all came to be in such an engaging and compelling way, with humor and honesty, I couldn’t put the book down.
Gives firsthand knowledge and detail of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in a way that invites readers to the side of organ donation and transplant they never see. ‘Aiming high’ is more than a chapter in this book; it’s felt throughout the pages as they paint a picture of the importance and dedication this journey means to so many…the viewers, the riders, and the team of people who make it possible for the love of the mission. I was truly moved to tears at a few points. A great read that honors donors and families past, while giving the reader and recipients hope for the future.
The genesis and evolution chronicled in your book was eye-opening. I laughed, I cried, and celebrated every single achievement as I went from page to page. I enjoyed reading about every stage and milestone of this special journey. Just brilliant!
A MUST READ. It completely describes the dedication it took to bring the Donate Life Float to fruition....the brilliant initial idea of Gary Foxen...the chase for donations...the design and implementation of the first float and the impact the float has had over the years in raising awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation.
Captures the essence and evolution of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float from its early beginnings...a must read for those who lived it or wish they had. A beautiful homage to the many volunteers, donor families, recipients, and participating organizations.