COATESVILLE Rick Ortega doesn't hide the fact that he's made some mistakes in his 63 years. He abused alcohol, and in May, 25 years after going to rehab, he received his liver-cancer diagnosis.
He's always known he had to deal with the consequences of his choices and didn't make excuses, a lesson he passed on to his two children, his son Matt said.
"That's how he led his life," Matt Ortega, 39, said, "and I respect him for that."
The lessons he learned from his father, he said, made the choice to donate part of his liver to him easy. Matt Ortega, head football coach at Coatesville Area High School, said he told his father, who worried about his son's going under the knife: "You would do this for anybody in our family. That's how you raised me, so you can't say 'no' to this."