NJ 101.5 kidney donor and recipient on proposed new donation law (Opinion)
It was on Nov. 5, 2018 that Melissa Kohlman donated her kidney to North Hudson Fire Captain Robbo Pisani after hearing his plea on New Jersey 101.5. Melissa told New Jersey 101.5 what that was like, and how she feels about a new law that would offer financial help to donors.
The law sponsored by State Senator Jim Beach, D-Burlington, would grant all state and local government employees, including teachers and other public school workers, up to 30 work days for an organ donation and up to five work days for a bone marrow donation with tax credits being offered in the private sector.
"This law is a start for encouraging donation but falls a tad short", Melissa, who doesn't work a public job, told me in a text. "I had to use all my time off before my employee's disability insurance kicked in. Obviously this choice wasn't about the possibility of a loss of wages but helping someone who needs it."
Captain Pisani, who got a kidney from Melissa after she heard his plea on my show, also told me about his thoughts on this proposed legislation:
"I think that anyone willing to donate an organ definitely should be given paid time off," Pisani told me in a text. "It should be given to anyone, not just state workers or public servants. There has to be a starting point somewhere though. State and public servants have good health care, that’s probably why he is introducing it. In the private sector I think bosses would not be thrilled with it."
Melissa thinks this law should cover more than New Jersey:
"Donating laws should be looked at in more of a national sense instead of state by state."
Melissa went on to tell me what makes all donors such special people:
"Financial loss or not, I am proud to be a kidney donor."
We're so proud of the "Angel" Melissa as well.
More from New Jersey 101.5: