Transplant chaplain to ride in Rose Parade

Dec. 30, 2006 at 5:06 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- An Orange County, Calif., hospital chaplain who donated a kidney to his sister will be honored in the Rose Parade for his commitment to organ donations.

The Rev. Elly Tavarro came to America from the Philippines in 1990 to donate one of his kidneys to his ailing sister, Ritcha.

His motto has since become: "God doesn't want your organs in heaven. He doesn't need your body; only your soul."

Tavarro, 51, stayed on at the Saint Joseph hospital in Orange in the position of hospital Catholic chaplain after the surgery where today he comforts organ donors and recipients -- the reason he was chosen to represent the hospital in the 118th annual Tournament of Roses parade on Monday.

The Los Angeles Times said his sister, who lives in the Philippines, will be watching him on television.

Tavarro said he hopes his appearance will encourage others to donate organs to save lives.

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