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Jennie Henry of Compton was one of 14 Kaiser Permanente patients who were selected to ride on the healthcare provider's Rose Parade float on New Year's Day. She is shown here on parade day in the cockpit of the float. Jennie and the others were chosen to ride due to their heroic and inspiring fight against life-threatening health conditions.
This high school senior's dream is to become a nurse in a cancer ward. Jennie, 18, wants to help others, just as doctors and nurses helped her after she was diagnosed with leukemia in December of 2005. Her doctor says: "Her form of leukemia did not have a good prognosis at the beginning, but she did exceptionally well, never down despite losing her hair at age 15, which is not good at any age. She remained upbeat no matter what was thrown at her." Jennie has been in remission for over two years. In school, she was on the varsity volleyball team, and this year Jennie won an "Outstanding Achievement Award" after completing an independent living program. She enjoys spending time with her best friend Brittany and playing with her dog Hazel, a Chihuahua-poodle mix. Jennie is already a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and plans to study nursing in college.
Kaiser Permanente's playful and entertaining float was entitled, "Propel Your Dreams." The float was a colorful and imaginative flying vehicle powered by inspiring children who cycle, row, and jog above floral clouds of solid roses. The images and the riders represent the importance of exercise and lifestyle in achieving and maintaining total health, a central theme of Kaiser Permanente's ongoing "Thrive" message. The float was judged worthy of the tournament's Special Trophy, which honors exceptional merit in multiple categories for floats over 55 feet.