Wagswoofs – The parents of a teenager from Olathe made a journey to the Rose Parade on Monday to witness their daughter, Jayme Sue Louque, being honored on a float that celebrates donor heroes.
Louque passed away in 2021, however, her legacy continues to endure.
As the float made its way down Colorado Boulevard, anticipation filled the air. Wendy Louque, Bethany’s mother, couldn’t help but notice the vibrant feathers on the headdress. She recalls, “That’s the first thing I spotted, and everyone else was saying, ‘It’s coming, it’s coming!'”
The excitement for families like Wendy and Bryan Louque stemmed from the fact that the face on that float belonged to someone who was part of one of the world’s most renowned parades.
“Wendy expressed how emotionally moving it was to enter the warehouse and witness the placement of her floragraph. The sight of it pulled at the heartstrings of many throughout the entire experience.”
Jayme Sue Louque, a brave soul, entered this world with Dandy Walker Syndrome, a challenging condition. Tragically, her life was cut short at the tender age of 14 due to cardiac arrest. However, even in her passing, Jayme’s compassionate spirit lives on through the gift of organ donation. Her selfless act has brought renewed hope and second chances to five individuals, one of whom is Malkia White, a fellow St. Louis resident who was fortunate enough to receive Jayme’s kidney.
Over 1,000 individuals lent a hand in the creation of the One Legacy Donate Life Rose Parade float. Among them were the Louques, who meticulously added the final touches to their floragraph before it was sent off in November. This weekend, the Louques, alongside other families, gathered in Pasadena, California, to contribute their efforts in adorning the float.
“I find the stories to be incredibly fascinating. As I look around, I see many faces that resemble my own,” Bryan expressed.
He is not only the father of a donor but has also received two kidney transplants himself, one of which was from his wife. Their goal in having Jayme participate in Monday’s Rose Parade is to raise awareness for the over one million individuals who require organ, eye, and tissue transplants.
Wendy emphasized the significance of remembering that tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. She believes in living life to the fullest and being intentional in our actions towards one another.
As a hero donor, they say Jayme’s story doesn’t end here, though it may be bittersweet.
Bryan expressed his sentiment, stating, “Seeing the float drift away, observing Jayme’s joyous expression as she paraded down Colorado Boulevard, that’s precisely how she would have desired it.”
White, who received a kidney transplant, expressed her anticipation for watching Monday’s parade with great pride. She shared how numerous individuals in the Kansas City metro area celebrated New Year’s Day.