Angela Yvonne Griggs gave many the gift of time.
In November 2010, Griggs, a native Detroiter, suffered a fatal asthma attack. She had already made the decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, and that commitment saved and improved the lives of many.
Her gift and her generous spirit where memorialized on New Year’s Day 2018 on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, which carried a portrait of Angela made out of floral materials. Her family and friends journeyed to Pasadena, Calif., to decorate the float.
“It is a great honor for Angela’s floragraph to be on the Donate Life float at the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade,” says her mother, Artelia. “I am so proud of my daughter and her decision to be a donor, and in honor of her life, I have become a registered donor.”
Grigg’s “floragraph” was sponsored by Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ and tissue donation program.
This is the 15th year a Donate Life Rose Parade Float has been in the Tournament of Roses Parade. It honors those who have donated and encourages others to do so as well.
In all, 44 deceased donors from across the nation were honored with floragraphs, while 17 transplant recipients rode on the float. Walking alongside them were living donors and their recipients.
Grigg’s family, friends and those who met her remember the 38-year-old’s vibrant personality and her ability to live every day to the fullest. She loved singing, dancing and acting and cared deeply about helping others, especially those she felt could not help themselves, and was particularly drawn to children. She consistently gave of her time, talents and treasures to help people in need, and would even borrow from others to make sure that the less fortunate had a meal to eat or a place to stay.
“Much of Angela’s generosity stemmed from her upbringing and her faith,” says the story posted about Griggs on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float website. “Blessed with a beautiful, uplifting voice, she sang in the choir, worked in the nursery and was a member of the Drama Group at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit.”
The story goes on to say she initially studied to become a theater major, but as that dream faded she changed her major. In 2009, she became a nurse and specialized in pediatric nursing.
“She was generous in spirit during life and she was generous in passing,” says Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “Angela’s gifts continue to help others. We are proud to be part of this tribute to Angela and to all donors.”
To date, more than 62 percent of Michigan adults have joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry to record their decision to help others by becoming an organ, tissue and cornea donor. Each donor can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people.
To sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, visit giftoflifemichigan.org, call 866-500-5801 or visit any Secretary of State branch office. Michigan residents who sign up will receive a red heart donor emblem for the front of their driver’s license or ID card.