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Carmel family to honor son with Rose Parade float

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A Carmel family hosted an open house Sunday to add finishing touches to a portrait of their late son that will honor his memory on a national level.

McKenzie Leichtnam will be one of 44 organ or tissue donors to be honored with a floragraph — a portrait of a deceased tissue or organ donor — on Donate Life’s float in next month’s Rose Parade.

Leichtnam passed away in his sleep just before his 21st birthday in 2011. Leichtnam’s family decided to donate his tissue to help others in need. For them, it was a way to honor their son receiving a heart transplant when he was born.

A floragraph is made out of organic material, including spices and seeds. With the floragraph complete, the next step is to ship the portrait out to Pasadena, California, for the 134th Annual Rose Parade on Jan. 2.