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St. Joseph Hospital to be visited by organ donor’s mother prior to being honored in Rose Bowl Parade

Rhonda Berger thanks burn center nurses

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015) – A young organ donor’s mother, Rhonda Berger, will visit St. Joseph Hospital with a message of gratitude and hope for everyone she encounters on Monday, Nov. 23. Berger’s college-aged daughter, Jennifer Spurgeon, was one of three roommates who perished in an apartment fire in 2009.

In the main lobby of St. Joe at 10 a.m., Berger will meet and thank some of the nursing staff who cared for her daughter in the St. Joseph Regional Burn Center several years ago.

Indiana Donor Network has selected Berger to be the state’s representative, in honor of her daughter, in the 2016 Rose Bowl Parade.

On display in the lobby, from 10 a.m. to noon, will be a rendering of the artwork for the Donate Life America float, as well as the actual floragraph, an image of her daughter created with organic material, for visitors, hospital staff, volunteers and patients to see. Information about tissue and organ donation registration and verification will also be shared.

More than 123,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and nearly 1,500 of those people are Hoosiers. Many more people benefit from donated tissue. To learn more about organ and tissue donation, please visit www.IndianaDonorNetwork.org.

About the donor
Jennifer Louise “Biffer” Spurgeon loved life. With her love for companion animals, she headed to college to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinary technician. Jennifer was enjoying life and moving closer to her dream when it all came to a halt as the result of a devastating fire that took her life and the lives of her two roommates. Jennifer’s decision to be an organ and tissue donor provided hope and healing for others. 

About the journey
Indiana Donor Network and Donate Life Indiana are serving as sponsors for Berger so she may attend the Rose Bowl Parade. She is scheduled to travel to Pasadena, Calif., to see

Jennifer’s image transformed into one of 60 floragraphs that will adorn the float on New Year’s Day. The purpose of the 2016 Donate Life Rose Parade Float is to honor organ, eye and tissue donors who saved, healed and gave hope to thousands of people in need. For more information about the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, visit the official float website at www.donatelifefloat.org.

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LUTHERAN HEALTH NETWORK
BLUFFTON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER | DUKES MEMORIAL HOSPITAL | DUPONT HOSPITAL* | KOSCIUSKO COMMUNITY HOSPITAL*
LUTHERAN HEALTH PHYSICIANS | LUTHERAN HOSPITAL* | MEDSTAT | THE ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL* | REDIMED | REHABILITATION HOSPITAL*
ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL*

*A physician owned hospital.

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