Indiana woman praying for flight to honor daughter at Rose Bowl Parade

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana woman is praying for a miracle. She’s hoping to make it in time to California to honor her daughter at the Rose Bowl Parade.

Rhonda Berger said her daughter and many other people are being honored for their life saving organ donations.

Berger spent Tuesday morning at the Indianapolis International Airport looking for a flight out, but she had no luck.

Berger and her other daughter Krista spent Tuesday night stuck in a hotel room near the airport. The two have been looking forward to this day for months, flying out to California to honor Jennifer.

“It’s going to be quite an honor for us to go see Jennifer’s picture or her flora graph up there on the float,” said Berger. “She at the age of 15, 16 when she got her learner’s permit signed up to be a donor at that time.”

Berger has been a volunteer with the Indiana Donor Network ever since Jennifer passed away in 2009.

She died from smoke inhalation when an apartment below hers caught fire. Berger said Jennifer donated her kidneys and liver to save another life.

“My daughter is not here it’s been seven years just the way to honor her and just really wanted to be there,” said Berger. “When you can’t because of something that’s out of your control that’s just really disheartening.”

Mother Nature has not been playing nice. Berger said because of bad weather she missed her connecting flight from Kansas City to Los Angeles.

“We had already missed our connection flight in Kansas City,” said Berger. “There was no other airline available that was going to be able to seat us then to go on to Los Angeles to be there for the festivities.”

The festivities include a rose dedication, brunch, and a chance to connect with other families also honoring their loved ones.

60 honorary donors will have their flora graphs as part of the “Donate Life” float.

“It was going to be nice to meet all those other families that are kind of in the same boat that we are,” said Berger. “We actually signed up for five hour shifts so that we could help put finishing touches on the float and also be there for the float judging and of course on New Year’s Day be able to see her flora graph.”

Berger said the earliest flight to Los Angeles will be on January 1st the day of the Rose Bowl Parade.

She is currently staying at a hotel, but has until late Wednesday afternoon to check out.

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