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Bill: Teach organ donation in high school health classes

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- Don Melillo is alive thanks to a liver transplant. In February 2012, he started to feel ill, "It was really scary. I wanted the doctor to find something but I didn't expect cancer," Melillo said. Melillo was near death as he suffered from liver cancer. He was placed on a donor list in July and got a transplant in October. "My mom passed away a year ago. And I know she talked to my donor and said thank you for giving my son a second chance," Melillo said tearfully. Melillo has four children and two grandchildren. He's here for them and his wife because an organ donation gave that second chance. He's supporting House Bill 137 which would make organ donation a part of the high school health class curriculum. "This is the first decision that they can make when they're going to obtain their driver's license or state ID where they do not need their parents' consent to do so. So it is incumbent upon us to provide that education so that they can make an informed decision one way or the other," said Andi O'Malley, Director of Public Affairs the LifeCenter Organ Donor Network. Melillo has received letters from students at schools where he's spoken about organ donation. His story has actually convinced some students to become organ donors. He's hopeful the bill will pass."I actually celebrate two birthdays now; my normal birthday and my October birthday because I was given the gift of life. A second chance." If the bill becomes law the Second Chance Trust Fund could help pay for any costs associated with teaching about organ donation. No tax money goes into that fund. Optional $1 contributions collected at the Ohio BMV fund it.

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