Quantcast

Donate Life Rose Parade Float to honor Lowcountry murder victim - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Donate Life Rose Parade Float to honor Lowcountry murder victim

Posted: Updated:
Maraleius Gardner-Birdsong's donated organs have saved four lives, and helped countless others. Maraleius Gardner-Birdsong's donated organs have saved four lives, and helped countless others.
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A former Fort Dorchester student who was fatally shot while making a pizza delivery will be honored at the Rose Parade for giving the "gift of life" to numerous people.

Maraleius Gardner-Birdsong will be recognized by LifePoint and Donate Life South Carolina with a "floragraph", an artistic floral portrait, on the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade Float.

Gardner-Birdsong was delivering a pizza at the Appian Way apartments on March 9, 2012 when police say he was robbed and murdered by 19-year-old Stephawn Brown and 17-year-old Jontae Demetrius Davis. Gardner-Birdsong was 20-years-old.

The North Charleston man made the unselfish choice to become an organ donor when he obtained his driver's license. Five of his organs were donated, saving the lives of four people, including his cousin in Indiana who was battling kidney disease.

Three other people in South Carolina received Gardner-Birdsong's other kidney, pancreas, liver and heart. Additionally, his donated corneas have allowed two people to see again.

This will be the first time a Lowcountry resident has been honored on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. The commemoration was made possible by Columbia based biotechnology company, Bridge to Life.

"The Rose Parade, by itself, is an absolutely spectacular event, and a wonderful way to ring in the New Year," said Aaron Gilchrist, National Sales Director at Bridge to Life. "Honoring families of organ donors like Maraleius' makes it that much more special."

Over 40 million people are projected to watch the Rose Parade on television, and thousands more are expected to be in attendance. Several of Gardner-Birdsong's recipients are making plans to be at the parade to honor him.

"Our family has now experienced the blessings of both donation and being recipients. Two of our uncles received heart transplants. I'm so honored that his life is being celebrated in this way by Donate Life," said Maraleius' mother Teresa Gardner. "His earthly life has ended, he'll be forever in our hearts, sorely missed and never forgotten."

Family and friends of Gardner-Birdsong will be putting the final touches on the floragraph during a ceremony at LifePoint Office on Tuesday, Dec 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Copyright 2012 WCSC. All rights reserved.

  • NEWS LocalNEWSMore>>

  • N. Charleston police officer facing charges after traffic stop

    N. Charleston police officer facing charges after traffic stop

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:38:31 GMT
    Maurice Huggins (Photo source: Al Cannon Detention Center)Maurice Huggins (Photo source: Al Cannon Detention Center)
    A North Charleston police officer was arrested Wednesday after he was spotted driving in excess of 100 mph on Ashley Phosphate Road, according to an incident report.More >>
    A North Charleston police officer was arrested Wednesday after he was spotted driving in excess of 100 mph on Ashley Phosphate Road, according to an incident report.More >>
  • James Island family returning home to Israel Friday, awaiting FAA to lift ban

    James Island family returning home to Israel Friday, awaiting FAA to lift ban

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:19:32 GMT

    A James Island family, hoping to catch their flight to Israel on Friday, is anxiously waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to lift its ban. On Wednesday, the FAA extended the restriction of all U.S. flights to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours. The ban went into effect Tuesday after a rocket landed just a mile from Israel's busiest airport in Tel Aviv.

    More >>

    A James Island family, hoping to catch their flight to Israel on Friday, is anxiously waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to lift its ban. On Wednesday, the FAA extended the restriction of all U.S. flights to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours. The ban went into effect Tuesday after a rocket landed just a mile from Israel's busiest airport in Tel Aviv.


    More >>
  • Children of Chicora Cherokee community protest proposed railway project

    Children of Chicora Cherokee community protest proposed railway project

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:46:31 GMT
    Children from the Chicora Cherokee Community stopped traffic Wednesday afternoon to get their voices heard. They're protesting Palmetto Railways' proposed rail facility, which will bring more railways and cargo through their North Charleston neighborhood.More >>
    Children from the Chicora Cherokee Community stopped traffic Wednesday afternoon to get their voices heard. They're protesting Palmetto Railways' proposed rail facility, which will bring more railways and cargo through their North Charleston neighborhood.More >>
Powered by WorldNow