CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KCRG-TV9)-- An eastern Iowa teen is saving lives two years after he was shot and killed.
Sixteen-year-old Senquez Jackson of Cedar Rapids died back in 2016 in what police have described as an unintentional shooting.
Jackson's family decided to donate his organs. The Iowa Donor Network gave a special tribute to teen and his family on Saturday.
A flora graph of Jackson will be on a float in the donate life parade at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena California. The Iowa Donor Network is taking the Jackson family to the parade. His mom, Tamara Bloemendaal hopes it will help the family heal.
“We all struggle different times,” she said. “It's just one day at a time, it's all we can do.”
The family decorated the flora graph at the event. Bloemendaal struggled to fight back tears looking at the flora graph of her son Senquez for the first time.
"It was very emotional,” she said. “I thought I was ready for it but I was not."
Jackson's organs have saved several lives. The family says that's what he would have wanted. There is a need for donors. Officials from Iowa Donor Network say there are more than 700 people on the waiting list.
"We really feel that number should be zero,” said member Tony Hakes. “We just need everyone to register as a donor, then we can take that number to zero.”
Bloemendaal is happy that her son is helping others live long-lasting lives. "It felt good, knowing that other people have been impacted, and still impacted by his life,” she said.
They will head to California the last week of December. The Rose Parade is January 1st. Click here to learn more about the Iowa Donor Network.