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At the Rose Parade, remembering a Life Scout whose legacy lives on in others

quinn-1How’s this for a busy life?

Quinn Alec Hoover, a 17-year-old from Hagerstown, Md., was an honor student, band member, soccer player, runner, award-winning Indian dancer, swimming instructor, church volunteer, and Life Scout.

He touched so many people during his life, and after his tragic death in March, he’s touched even more as an organ donor.

At the 124th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, Quinn’s picture will be among 72 memorial floragraph portraits of deceased donors recognized on the Donate Life float, seen in an artist’s rendering above.

Read more about Quinn’s touching story after the jump…

Quinn’s Story

Quinn Alec Hoover was always busy. The 17-year-old was an honor student, band member, and leading soccer player and runner. He spent years in the Boy Scouts and was working on his Eagle Scout project to help rebuild the bat population that had declined due to disease. He was a noted grass dancer with PotAmac Indian Dancers and was named Dancer of the Year in 2011. Quinn loved his family and community and served as a swimming instructor for his local county parks and recreation department.

On March 17, 2012, Quinn had worked a 5K run and helped at a church fundraiser. He had also gone out on a first date with a girl he hoped would be his girlfriend. Driving home from the date, he fell asleep and was in a single car accident in which he sustained major head injuries.

“We told the medical staff that the hard work he put into his body was not going to go to waste,” his parents Sonia and Tom remembered. “We wanted his organs donated and offered this gift before even being asked.” Quinn’s biomedical teacher later shared that Quinn was adamant about being a donor, something he had said only a month before his death. “Hearing this confirmed that we made the right choice for our son.”

In February 2012, Quinn had begun participating in a bio-med project on medical innovations of this century. One challenge from Quinn’s group was anti-rejection and immunosuppressive drugs that can cause patients to become sick. Quinn’s team posed a powerful vision: “Wouldn’t it be great if we can get the body to accept transplanted organs without suppressing the immune system.” After his death, some of his classmates who stated during class that they didn’t want to be organ donors changed their minds.

“We were proud of Quinn when he was living, but we are even prouder of him now as he is continuing to impact others since his passing,” his parents stated. “He was able to donate his pancreas, liver and kidneys to three people, inspiring youth and adults alike to designate themselves as organ donors.”

3 Comments on At the Rose Parade, remembering a Life Scout whose legacy lives on in others

  1. So has his troop or local council nominated him for the “Spirit of the Eagle” award? If he had already started his Eagle project, it was already approved, and if he had the required merit badges and leadership, it might be possible to award him his Eagle posthumously.

    • Mark Barbernitz // December 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm // Reply

      Yes, Mike, thanks for the ideas. Quinn did receive the Spirit of the Eagle recognition. Quinn has also been awarded his Eagle Scout as he had completed all the requirements and was well underway with his project. His Troop stepped up and finished the project he started. There was an Eagle Board of Review and all his records were verified and Quinn is recognized as an Eagle. Quinn, having shown significant leadership in his Eagle project up until his sudden passing, does qualify as meeting the project requirements. Quinn was a remarkable young man who touched many lives.

      • Thanks for the update! I’m glad he and his family received the recognition from Scouting that Quinn so richly deserved.

        I keep reminding Scouts preparing their Service Project plans that it should stand alone, so that if something unfortunate happens, the rest of the troop can step up and carry out the project.

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