Family of late IU police officer travel to Tournament of Roses Parade to see loved one honored for being tissue donor

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 A late Hoosier will be honored during the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade.

The family of Indiana University South Bend Police Officer Levell Pace is traveling to Pasadena, California to see their loved one paid tribute to on the Donate Life float.

Pace died in 2002 unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 34. He had earlier been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Pace needed a kidney transplant and was set to be placed on the national transplant waiting list before he died.

Before his death, Pace elected to help others through tissue and cornea donation.

Pace widow’s Melissa and her sister Susan Jackson will be representing Pace in California.

“This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. It’s so nice to see and have my husband remembered and honored on the Gift of Life float,” said Melissa.

The family will be accompanied by Marti Cooper​, a community outreach coordinator with Donate Life Indiana and Indiana Donor Network.

The group will take part in a private Donate Life rose placement ceremony Wednesday, then interact with other donor families before helping decorate the Donate Life float Thursday.

On Saturday, they will be in the grandstands watching for Pace’s floragraph in the parade.

Pace graduated from Jimtown High School in Elkhart, Indiana. After graduation, he worked various jobs until he became a security guard at Indiana University South Bend and ultimately, a police officer.

According to the Indiana Donor Network, more than 1,000 Hoosiers await a lifesaving organ transplant while more than 100,000 Americans are on the national transplant list.

You can find out more about becoming a donor at Donate Life Indiana.

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