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Monday, May 09, 2011

Organ Donation Movie & Awards

The Donate Life Hollywood Person of the Year Award is given annually by the organ and tissue donation community to honor individuals in the entertainment industry who have given their time to raise awareness about the need for organ donation, who have given hope to those on the waiting list and to those who have inspired Americans to Donate Life.

This year, winners will be chosen by fan voting, which will begin mid-May. Fans of Donate Life Hollywood on Facebook are eligible to vote.  Ryan Merriman is a nominee.

At 28 years old, Ryan Merriman has been in 25 films, four television series and several guest appearances to his credit. This spring, his film The 5th Quarter was released, telling the true story of how Luke Abbate, a 15 year old, was able to give the gift of life as an organ donor after his untimely senseless death in a car accident. Ryan played Jon, Luke’s older brother, who was inspired by his younger brother’s life to lead Wake Forest University to an unprecedented championship football season.

The 5th Quarter Synopsis:

The death of a promising young athlete just days before his 16th birthday inspires his older brother to lead his college football team to new heights in The 5th Quarter, the moving saga of the Abbate family of Marietta, Georgia. Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, Benny and Joon), Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Groundhog Day) and Ryan Merriman (Home of the Giants, Final Destination 3) star in this touching true story from writer and director Rick Bieber (Crazy, Radio Flyer).

When 15-year-old Luke Abbate (Stefan Guy) is killed in a tragic car accident, the loss leaves his close-knit family reeling with grief. Fueled by faith and their deep familial bond, the Abbates try to rebuild their lives without Luke, fulfilling his wish to help others by donating his organs to save the lives of five other people. But despite the support of loving friends and family, his death leaves a void in their lives that threatens to tear the family apart.

Struggling with the devastating loss, Luke’s older brother Jon (Ryan Merriman), a gifted football player at Wake Forest University, decides to honor his brother’s memory and love for the game by dedicating the 2006 season to him. With the added motivation of “playing for two,” he dons Luke’s beloved No. 5 jersey and inspires his teammates to play the best football of their lives—and become the most improved team in America. Predicted to finish last in their division, the Wake Forest football team surpassed all expectations by winning an unforgettable championship season. A tribute to the power of hope and love, The 5th Quarter is an inspiring true story about a family coming together to rally a team, a school and a community to achieve more than they could ever have imagined.

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