Fort Smith Teen Who Donated Tissue And Organs To Be Honored In Rose Parade

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) — A Fort Smith teen who died in 2012 is being remembered in the New Year's Day Rose Parade for helping better the lives of others through organ and tissue donation.

Austin Elder died when he was 19, a week after he fell off from a bluff i n Newton County, Ark. Dec. 8, 2012. His mother, Gina Elder said Austin was adamant about being an organ donor and declared himself an organ donor just a little more than a year before he died.

"He shared a lot of love while he was here in 19 years," Elder said. "It's just typical Austin style to wanna help in life and then in death. I'm glad he had, in this circumstance, the opportunity to help improve some lives."

Austin along with other organ donors from around the country will be featured on a float for the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

"We have his floragraph that we placed on the Donate Life Float," Elder said.

Austin's mom is getting to be a part of creating that floragraph along with those who knew Austin best.

"After five years, I don't hear his named mentioned very much," Elder said. "So, this is a huge honor."

The Elder family hopes Austin's memory along with the help of the foundationTrenton's Legacy Arkansas, they can continue raising awareness for organ and tissue donation.

The Donate Life Float will be in the Rose Parade ahead of the Rose Bowl happening New Year's Day.

Another donor, Melissa Owen from Little Rock, will also be featured on the float. Owen died in 2014 from a brain aneurysm and stroke.

For more information about the float and to view all the 2018 Floragraph Honorees, visit the Donate Life Float website. 

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