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Late Carmel man to be honored on Rose Parade float



Carmel, Indiana – A newborn man from Carmel received a heart transplant in 1990. He died 20 years later and left tissue for others to benefit from. He will now receive national recognition in January aboard the Donate Life Rose Parade float.

During the 134th annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on January 2, McKenzie Leichtnam will be one of 44 benefactors recognized. A floragraph portrait honoring Leichtnam will be shown on the float.

A floragraph is an artistic portrait made from flower elements, such as seeds and spices, that is placed over the honoree’s digital portrait.

“Stories like McKenzie’s ignite Hoosiers and people throughout the country to sign up to become organ and tissue donors and ultimately give the gift of life,” Kellie Tremain, president and CEO of Indiana Donor Network, said. “The Rose Parade float is a fitting tribute to McKenzie’s legacy as a donor hero and his family’s selfless decision to heal lives through tissue donation.”

After completing his high school education at Carmel High School, Leichtnam attended Vincennes University for his first two years of college. He was planning to transfer to Indiana University, but he abruptly passed away in his sleep a day after touring the campus with his parents.