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Rochester Family gets a Trip of a Lifetime

January 01, 2019 09:03 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The Rose Bowl Parade is a New Year’s Day tradition and for one Rochester family, it was an experience of a lifetime.

“Before Steve got sick Disney was definitely on the agenda you know it’s like every family’s dream to take your kids to Disney and have an awesome vacation and that just got pushed back a bit,” Caren Shank, Steve’s wife, said when we first met the Shanks back in December.

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Two years ago, Steve got a lung transplant.

“Since the transplant, he’s had two years to be a dad and to be a husband and we’re so grateful for every day with Steve it’s kind of an exciting place to be in just so thankful every day,” Caren said.

A nomination from Mayo Clinic landed Steve on the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade.

“You know, riding the float is an experience of a lifetime,” Steve said.

On Christmas Eve, through shrieks and squeals of joy, their kids were told about the big surprise, which included a trip to Disneyland.

For Steve, riding on the float Tuesday morning was something he’ll never forget.

“Just making eye contact with people that have also had transplants, children and waving to them and seeing their eyes light up and saying ‘I’m a donor,’ ‘I’m a recipient,’ you know in the crowd is just so emotional throughout the whole day,” he said.

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