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Life-Saving Sacramento Girl To Be Honored At Tournament of Roses Parade

Nicole Figueroa / courtesy

Nicole Figueroa / courtesy

A 13-year-old Sacramento girl who died unexpectedly this year will be honored in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena Jan. 1.

Marina Figueroa died of a ruptured artery that arose from a genetic defect.

Her mother, Nicole, says just days before Marina collapsed, she had insisted that her organs be donated if something terrible were to happen.

"It was the biggest blessing in my life to be completely honest because I do not know if I would have been strong enough to say yes at that time," says Nicole Figueroa. "I do not know if I would have been able to look past my own grief."

Marina's portrait will be made with all-organic materials and will be one of 60 likenesses of organ donors on the Donate Life float.

Her donated organs and tissues saved four lives, allowed two people to see for the first time and provided grafts for burn victims.

Donate Life says there are 1,300 people on a waiting list for a life-saving organ donation in the Sacramento area.

Last year, 248 people received organ donations from 75 Sacramento-area organ donors who died last year.

1201 15 bm Marina and Nicole Figueroa

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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