Cheryl “Renee” Roybal will be a distinguished Rider Honoree for the 2024 OneLegacy Donate Life Rose Parade float.

Roybal is Native American, a tribal-enrolled member of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso in New Mexico. The 64-year-old is the eldest of four siblings, married, has two daughters and is a “Saya” grandmother of three.

Roybal became ill and discovered her heart was enlarged in 2002. She was placed on the heart transplant list and received a heart on Oct. 10, 2002, from an 11-year-old girl.  She has been sharing her knowledge of the importance of organ donation at various events in New Mexico, including Sandoval County, and in her local Native American communities.

The OneLegacy Donate Life Rose Parade float is themed “Woven Together: The Dance of Life,” which serves as a canvas for diverse stories, transcending cultural boundaries, and showcasing the universal language of music and the shared experience of organ donation recipients. Roybal continues today to participate in her traditional dances.

Roybal is one of six Native Americans that will be honored on the float during the parade on New Year’s Day.

According to OneLegacy, Native Americans suffer from five times the rate of liver failure, two times the rate of kidney failure, and are more likely to suffer heart disease than the general population.

“These medical conditions too often require a lifesaving transplant,” said Tom Mone, chairman of the OneLegacy Donate Life float committee and Chief External Affairs Officer at OneLegacy. “Ideally this year’s float will inspire us all to register as a donor, to share the gift of life. We are so grateful to showcase the life-saving power or organ, eye and tissue donation among Native American nations and we hope to continue inspiring these and all communities.”

OneLegacy seeks to motivate a groundswell of registrations, contributing to the collective effort to save and heal lives. The unspoken power of Roybal’s narrative, and those of others, lies in the quiet invitation to join a community committed to making a difference for the more than 100,000 individuals in the U.S. currently awaiting a lifesaving transplant.

The OneLegacy Donate Life Rose Parade float is a testament to the collaborative efforts of more than 20 sponsoring organizations, including donation, transplant, health care and family care entities. It brings together individuals from across the country who share a common goal — promoting the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation.