A crowd gathered at the Enterprise Farmers Market on Sunday, Nov. 17 to celebrate and honor the late Andrew Workman for choosing to be an organ donor. The Workman family was chosen by Legacy of Hope (formerly Alabama Organ Center) to represent Alabama donor families in the 2020 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1.
“Andrew Workman is Alabama’s Floragraph honoree for the 2020 Donate Life float in the Rose Parade. Honorees are nominated by staff members, they are families that have been engaged with and volunteered with us,” Ann Rayburn, director of Legacy of Hope said. “The Workmans do a ton of volunteer hours. They have spoken on our behalf and they worked out at the National Peanut Festival. We want to identify someone that can be the face of donation in the community and help people think about ‘why would I want to register to be a donor.’ They make that real.”
Andrew Workman passed away in 2014 at the age of 19, after a series of seizures. His parents say that being an organ donor was a choice Andrew made. Andrew Workman’s father Mark shared how he feels about volunteering for Legacy of Hope and Andrew being honored.
“It is very special. It takes away some of the feeling of loss when I can talk to other people and let other people know that there is a reason we are here. We are supposed to be helping each other,” Mark Workman said. “We are supposed to be pushing through and if you can’t do it, take my hand and I will help you. That was one of the things we instilled in Andrew.”
Andrew Workman made the decision to be a donor before he was sick.
“Andrew made the decision to be a donor and documented that through his driver’s license,” Rayburn said. “His final act of giving and helping others in need was through organ donation, providing two people with hope and a better quality of life.”
Rayburn said this is the ninth year Alabama has honored a donor.
“This is our ninth year to honor a donor and their family. We participate as a way to acknowledge the gifts that the donor made and the family and also to encourage other people,” Rayburn said.
The Workmans will be flown, courtesy of Legacy of Hope, to Pasadena to help complete the float for the Rose Parade and meet with other families of organ donors.
At the event on Sunday, the Workmans completed Andrew’s eyebrows on the floragraph prepared by volunteers in Pasadena and the completed portrait will be displayed on the float.
“One of the things that is unique about the Rose parade is that the floats have to be covered entirely in organic materials. It is just one of the things that makes it unique,” Rayburn said.
“There will be 43 other deceased donors honored on the float with floragraphs, transplant recipients will ride the float and there will be living donors that walk beside it to demonstrate that you can be a donor and still be healthy enough to walk five or six miles,” Rayburn said. “This all is really to demonstrate the impact donation has on many people’s lives. We are hoping that people will be inspired by Andrew and his family and think about donation.”
For more information on becoming a donor, visit legacyofhope.org.