Tiffin woman in running for Miss Ohio

Saturday, Chelsea Aiello of Tiffin is to compete in the Miss Ohio Pageant at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield.

The 2013 Miss North Coast is a graduate of Lourdes University and works as an emergency room nurse at Mercy Tiffin Hospital. She has chosen organ donation as her platform.

Four years ago, Aiello became a live liver donor to prolong the life of her dad. She has been working with the local Donate Life chapter, Life Connections of Northwest Ohio, to share her story. More than 115,000 people are awaiting transplants in the United States, but statistics show 52 percent of Ohioans are registered donors.

Aiello said she would like to change that.

“I recently began partnering with local driver education classes, where I help students understand what it means to be a registered organ donor. This is very important because when a person gets their first driver’s license, it is the first time they can choose to register as an organ donor,” Aiello said.

Potential donors may have misconceptions about organ donation, so she is dedicated to educating citizens accurately. Aiello is targeting her message at pre-licensed teens, health care providers and senior citizens “because these populations have the most power to impact change in organ donation.”

In addition, she also is a local ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network, the national platform of the Miss America Organization. In that role, she raises funds for CMN hospitals and visits young patients at those facilities.

Having a state title and possibly a national title would enable Aiello to take her platform to a wide audience and increase organ, eye and tissue donation.

To learn more about the contestant, visit www.chelseaaiello.com.