MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A tragedy that took the life of a Surfside Beach teen in 2014 helped to save the lives of others.
Seventeen-year-old Jared Colon will be honored at the 2018 Donate Life Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018.
Colon died in New Jersey after being punched in the head by a student. According to his mother, he always wanted to help others. One of the ways he did that was by becoming an organ donor.
"Even on my saddest days, it gives me great comfort to know that he lives on in others," mother Beth Colon said.
Her son's organs went to six recipients.
Jared is now one of 44 donors selected from across the country to be honored in the upcoming Rose Parade. A floral portrait of the teen was created and brought to Myrtle Beach on Thursday, so his mother could finish it.
The floragraph will then go to Pasadena, Calif., to be placed on a float for the Rose Parade. Jared's mother will also head to California to be a part of the parade.
Since her son's death, Beth Colon has been an advocate for organ donation.
"There are people who would not be on this earth right now if it weren't for my son and other donors. I can't imagine that overwhelming feeling someone must have to be so thankful for, someone they don't know who's helped save their life," she said. "So it's helped the healing process. And, again, I just figure if one person signs up to be an organ donor, I've succeeded."
The Rose Parade will air on Jan. 1, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. on WMBF News.