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Life and Arts


Transplant survivor rides in Rose Parade

Monica O’Brien of Burbank was among 26 organ transplant recipients and donors to ride on the Donate Life float in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.

“It’s was amazing!” she said. “It was sad and inspiring and so great to be out there with the donors and other recipients. It was an overwhelming experience.”

O’Brien was asked to represent Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center on the float, she said. A representative came from each of the 26 transplant centers. And unique this year, one of the float riders was a patient waiting for an organ transplant, she said. Three honorary walkers rode on the float as well.


O’Brien also helped decorate the float titled “Seize the Day.” Spearheaded by OneLegacy, the Donate Life Rose Parade float was supported by 120 official partners from across the nation, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, for-profit contributors, transplant centers and transplant recipient organizations. For information about the Donate Life Rose Parade float, visit

Serving in the military

Army Pvt. Eduardo Barraza has graduated from the Automated Logistical Specialist Advanced Individual Training course at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Va.

The course is designed to train soldiers to establish and maintain stock records and other documents such as inventory, material control, accounting and support reports, automated and manual accounting records among other duties.


Barraza is the son of Esmeralda Heredia and stepson of Jose V. Perez of Burbank. The private is a 2010 graduate of John Burroughs High School.