Local organ donor to be honored in Rose Parade

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SAN DIEGO — It’s a call Dana Speroni never saw coming. Come New Year’s Day, her husband, Alessandro Speroni, will make an appearance in the Rose Parade, even though he passed away six years ago.

“I was in tears,” Speroni said. “I was just so overjoyed that they would want to honor my husband with something so spectacular.”

The couple met at his café, Sole Luna, in Cortez Hill. He served her coffee and they hit it off, culminating in a wedding.

“He lit up a room when he walked in,” she said of him. “His smile was captivating.”

In 2013, Alessandro passed away at the age of 41 from an aneurism while surfing. Doctors knew he wouldn’t survive. Yet, he still held on in the hospital for five days, just long enough for San Diego-based  Lifesharing Donate Life Organization to find recipients for his heart, liver, kidney and pancreas.

“I hope they’re out there and doing him proud,” his wife said.

Dana says she recently got an unexpected call. Lifesharing wanted to honor her late husband’s sacrifice by placing a photo of him on their Rose Parade float.

“I am going to be on the grand stands, standing up with my whole entire family just cheering, and I’m going to be ecstatic to see this beautiful man driving by with the whole world to see the gift he gave,” she said.

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