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Gracie's Law: Georgia bill to stop discrimination against disabled transplant recipients

A local family fights for a bill to stop discrimination against organ transplant recipients after daughter is taken off the recipient list for disability. (Source: Nobles Family)
A local family fights for a bill to stop discrimination against organ transplant recipients after daughter is taken off the recipient list for disability. (Source: Nobles Family)(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 6, 2020 at 5:22 PM EST
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Friday, March 6, 2020

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local family fights for a bill to stop discrimination against disabled organ transplant recipients.

Washington County resident Gracie Nobles is almost one year old loves giving hugs and kisses, according to her parents Erin and David.

"I would not change anything about her, anything about her journey," Erin said.

Erin and David Nobles learned their little girl was diagnosed with down syndrome. They also learned that she had a hole in the middle of her heart.

Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Georgia were able to repair Gracie's heart, saving her from a transplant. A transplant they learned would've involved a tough battle to get on the list.

"I couldn't imagine taking Gracie home and just being told to go home and enjoy the rest of your days with her because she would not be eligible for a transplant; however, that is the news that families receive," David Nobles said.

While the Americans with Disabilities Act denies discrimination based on disability, there is a lack of federal enforcement with the act.

For some families, time used fighting for federal attention is not an option. It's why Erin and David are fighting for Gracie's Law.

Gracie's Law, or Georgia House Bill 842, will prohibit providers from discriminating against potential organ transplant recipients due solely to physical or mental disability of the recipient.

"This is just something where we saw a change was needed and Gracie fit the bill. Quite literally," David Nobles said. "She was lying in an unconscious state on the ventilator just ten months ago. Now here she is, a lively vibrant little child and she's looking at having a law in her name."

Gracie's Law will give families a priority to fight against discrimination on the local level. Twelve states have already passed legislation just like Gracie's Law.

Georgia House Bill 842 just passed through the house unanimously. The bill will now go to the Senate.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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