Lawrence homicide victim to be featured in Rose Parade float honoring organ donors

photo by: Photo courtesy of Midwest Transplant Network

A "floragraph" of Lawrence homicide victim Leah Brown will be among donor portraits on the 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Brown's donated tissue and corneas helped at least 50 people, the organization says.

At 22, Leah Brown was gunned down by a stray bullet in downtown Lawrence.

After her death, however, Brown was able to help others as an organ donor.

Brown will be one of about 40 organ, eye and tissue donors nationwide to be honored with a “floragraph” on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif. Donate Life says the “artistic portraits,” made of seeds, that are featured on its annual floats are often decorated by honorees’ family members. Organ recipients and other champions of the cause will ride and walk alongside the float.

Brown donated her corneas and tissues, according to the Donate Life float website, and “her gifts are now benefitting at least 50 recipients.”

Brown, a Shawnee resident, was one of three people shot and killed in the early morning hours of Oct. 1, 2017, at the intersection of 11th and Massachusetts streets. The accused shooter is still awaiting trial.

Brown’s profile on the Donate Life site describes a vibrant and caring person.

“She was grateful and gracious, a young woman who was appreciative of the smallest gestures of love given to her by others. She felt the best way to spend time was with family and friends. Not only did she enjoy riding her motorcycle, she loved dancing, roller skating, riding horses, ‘Taco Tuesdays’, baking, spontaneity and laughing,” it says. “…Fittingly, beneath her final Instagram post, Leah wrote simply and passionately, ‘Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.'”

photo by: Contributed photo

Leah Brown

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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