I first “met” Nefeterius through twitter messages back and forth last year. She was doing a great job of letting people know about the gift of organ donation and she just seemed to have an amazing outlook on life. It didn’t take long for the two of us to get on the phone and learn about our journeys and purpose.
We had a chance to meet each other and help each other’s efforts and she was a natural to be selected as our 2014 Rider for the Donate Life Rose Bowl Parade Float.
- Todd Storch, Co-Founder
Guest Post Written By Nefeterius Akeli McPherson, Liver Recipient
**Update from the Editor - May 21, 2014: We are heartbroken to report that Nefeterius has passed, but hopeful that her spirit lives on. Read more: 74,649,600 Seconds: Making Every Moment Count.
January 1, 2014 – a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. It’s the day that I, along with 29 other transplant recipients, rode on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in Pasadena, California. I can honestly say that it was the ride of a lifetime. I am so very grateful that Taylor’s Gift sponsored me as a float rider. What an honor!
Just seven months earlier - on New Year’s Day 2013 - as I was at home watching the Rose Parade, I told myself that I had to get to Pasadena soon so I could see the Donate Life float and Rose Parade in person. In my mind, if you’re going to attend a bowl game it’s best to see the granddaddy of them all, and being a football FANatic, of course I wanted to attend a game at the Rose Bowl. I had no idea that my dreams would come true exactly one year later.
My flight left Dallas heading to Los Angeles on December 29, and I was really sick the day before. I was so sick that I honestly did not think I would be able to make the trip. I hardly slept the night before but I prayed like crazy, and asked others to pray for me, to just be well enough to get on the plane. I knew that if I could get to Pasadena, I would find a way to be on the float on New Year’s Day. Thankfully, I made my flight and slept the entire way. When I landed, I could tell I was starting to feel a lot better and it was at that point that I knew my health was trending in the right direction; I was going to enjoy my stay in Pasadena.
Overwhelmed in Pasadena
It was such a pleasure to walk around Pasadena and randomly talk to people about organ donation. I met Drew, a young transplant recipient in a coffee shop whose mom - Mika - created the logo for the Transplant Games of America, as well as Linda, the owner of Bittersweet Treats whose cookies and cupcakes I had been eyeing daily on Instagram. I even met people who camped out on the Pasadena sidewalks on New Year’s Eve so they could get a good seat for the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
An Amazing Encounter
Donors are the ones who bring hope to recipients like Nefeterius every day. Outlive Yourself and become an organ donor today.
Nefeterius Akeli McPherson, a graduate of Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Dallas, is a lawyer and former political appointee in the Obama Administration. She received her liver transplant on November 6, 2011, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and has made it her mission to educate others about the importance of organ donation and how it saves lives.