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Local Heart Transplant Recipient Chosen As Rose Bowl Float Rider

Oneida County heart transplant recipient chosen to ride Rose Bowl Parade float
AP Photo/FDNY

Utica, NY (WIBX) – John Weakley, a greeter at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare was chosen to be a part of the 122nd Annual Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California as a float decorator and rider. 

Weakley, an advocate for organ and tissue donation, received a heart transplant 18 years ago after suffering two heart attacks in his mid-fifties, and has been on a crusade ever since to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.

He said, “A family had just lost a loved one however, they were able to think of helping someone else during that difficult time.” After his own ordeal, Weakley went on to organize transplant support groups, and give talks at schools and health fairs throughout Oneida County. He also organized an awareness walk that was in its 4th annual year before moving on to work for FSLH. Weakley and his wife Carol will travel to California later this month to take part in the national event to help honor transplant donors and recipients. “I never dreamed that I would be included in the Rose Bowl–it is a tremendous honor,” he said.

Weakley will be a guest on First Look tomorrow morning to talk about taking part in the Rose Bowl, and to highlight the importance of organ and tissue donation.

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