Special to the Ely Times 

Teri and Eddy Camacho former Ely residents and graduates of White Pine High School, were beyond excited to hear the news that their daughter, Amy Camacho’s life was saved with a kidney and pancreas transplant last year, has been selected to ride on the Donate Life Float at the 2018 Rose Parade for making a positive difference in her community.  The announcement was made by Donor Network West, the organ procurement and tissue recovery organization for northern California and Nevada.

Amy, a Sparks Elementary School teacher was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. She was still able to lead an active lifestyle and attend college to fulfill her dream of becoming an educator.

She has made a difference in her students’ lives as a teacher for seventeen years, the last four at Van Gorder Elementary School in Sparks where she teaches fifth graders.

In her mid-thirties, Amy’s doctor notified her that her disease had affected her kidneys to the point where she needed a transplant to survive.

By then she lacked the energy to stand in front of her class and do some of her favorite activities like going to the beach and travel.

In April 2016, after nearly five years on the national transplant wait list, she received the Gift of Life at age 39.

Her transplant inspired her to become a Donate Life Ambassador with Donor Network West to advocate for organ and tissue donation education.

In early 2017, Amy jumped through many hoops to make her way to the Nevada Legislature to testify on why offering organ and tissue donation education in public schools should be required.  Thanks to her testimony, high school students in Nevada will learn more about donation before they graduate.

Her students were cheering her along the way.

The 2018 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, the Gift of Time will celebrate 17 transplant recipients who will sit against stone carvings which reflect the strength they have gained from their donors. The float is part of a national effort of more than 50 organizations that have teamed up to highlight organ, eye and tissue donation as a way to heal lives.

In additional to the 17 float riders, it will feature floral portraits honoring 44 donors while eight living donors and recipients walk alongside the float.

Amy said “I am thrilled to be able to teach all day and still have the energy to do other activities after school. My life has changed incredibly and I am forever thankful to my donor and family and hope to meet them some day to express my sincere gratitude”.

Nearly 600 people are awaiting for an organ transplant in Nevada.

One organ donor can save  the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 76 others.

Anyone can register as a donor at DonorNetworkWest.org or at the DMV.