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HIGH SCHOOL HEROES Students learn the value of organ and tissue donation


Transplant recipient gives birth to twin daughters

WHO WE ARE NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally-designated, organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for the 4,600 New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplantation, and is part of the national recovery system, which is in place for the over 108,000 people on waiting lists.

FINDING OUR PLACE IN THE ‘CIRCLE OF LIFE’ CONTACT INFORMATION BY MAIL: NJ Sharing Network 691 Central Avenue New Providence, NJ 07974 PHONE: 1-800-SHARE-NJ (1-800-742-7365) 908-516-5400 / FAX: 908-516-5501


GOVERNING BOARD Charles G. Walker Chair Director of Operations, Overlook Hospital

Richard K. Burns, M.D. Vice Chair Division of Trauma, The Cooper Health System

Margaret Dreker Treasurer

John J. Halperin, M.D. Secretary Department of Neurosciences, Overlook Hospital

Patrick M. Buddle, M.D. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Circle of Life. This new publication of NJ Sharing Network creates a community for the thousands of New Jersey residents whose lives have been touched by organ and tissue donation. Our mission at NJ Sharing Network is as simple as it is complicated. Everything we do from our new state-of-the-art offices and laboratory in New Providence is focused on one goal: increasing the number of lives saved through organ and tissue donation. Our cover story (page 8) features the incredible account of a heart that saved not just one, but three, lives. There are more than 4,600 people in New Jersey waiting for an organ donation, and education is playing a key role in closing the gap between donors and recipients. The “High School Heroes” program, which resulted from legislation mandating organ and tissue education in high school curricula, made headline news recently when a courageous Newark family chose to give the gift of life. Read about “Maria's Legacy” (page 11). NJ Sharing Network staff is extremely dedicated and hard working, but we can’t do it alone. NJ Sharing Network’s volunteer staff consists of more than 400 individuals we deservingly refer to as our “Champions for Life.” In this issue, we highlight volunteer extraordinaire Pat Rush, a donor wife and mother (page 5). The NJ Sharing Network Foundation has a new executive director. Elisse Glennon brings with her more than 14 years experience in non-profit management, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, and community relations. With her dedication and vision, the Foundation promises to accomplish much in the coming months. Find out how you can make a difference by turning to “Foundation News” (pages 12-15). Ultimately, this publication serves to remind everyone of the important role they have to play in the “Circle of Life.” We hope that you will join us in our mission to close the gap and save lives …one donor at a time.

Judith E. Burgis Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

William G. Dressel, Jr. Executive Director, New Jersey State League of Municipalities

Joseph M. Gorrell, Esq. Vice Chairman, WolfBlock LLP

Aline M. Holmes, R.N. Senior Vice President, Clinical Affairs New Jersey Hospital Association

Joseph S. Roth President and Chief Executive Officer NJ Sharing Network

Richard G. Popiel, M.D. Vice President & Chief Medical Officer Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Vito A. Pulito President, Finance GE Healthcare

Steven E. Ross. M.D. Director, Division of Trauma The Cooper Health System



Our new headquarters include a state-of-the-art laboratory and a wall of honor which serves as a daily reminder of our life-saving mission.


ADVISORY BOARD Michael Shapiro, M.D. Board Chair Div. of Organ Transplantation Hackensack University Medical Center

Heroes in Life and Death: Legacy of Heroes Commemorative Event Launches Statewide Initiative

Mark J. Zucker, M.D. Vice Chair Director, Cardiac Transplant Program Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

David A. Laskow, M.D. Board Secretary Chief, Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Service Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Loretta Aigner, R.N.

Jersey City Police Detective Marc DiNardo was killed in the line of duty on July 21, 2009. His organs were donated, and saved the lives of three state residents desperately in need of transplants. On the year anniversary of his death, Marc’s widow, Mary, along with family, friends and fellow public safety officers, gathered at Liberty State Park in Jersey City to honor him. The commemorative event also marked the launch of Legacy of Heroes, a new, first-ofits-kind NJ Sharing Network initiative in which public servants further dedicate themselves to saving others through organ donation. The morning featured many emotional and inspirational speakers. Mary DiNardo told the story of her husband’s personal wish to give

Assistant Vice President, Renal Services Our Lady of Lourdes Health System Ambulatory Care Center/Dialysis, Transplant

John F. Bonamo, M.D. Executive Director Saint Barnabas Medical Center

Andrew de la Torre, M.D. Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery Division NJMS Department of Surgery

Katherine Gallante Manager of Community Outreach and Education National Kidney Foundation Serving Greater New York

Michael Gould, M.D. Emergency Medicine Somerset Medical Center

Debra L. Morgan Transplant Program Manager Saint Barnabas Health Care System

Shamkant Mulgaonkar, M.D. A police officer registering to be a donor.

Chief, Transplant Division Saint Barnabas Health Care System

Trish O'Keefe, R.N.

harbor. The event took place on the eve of the second anniversary of former acting Gov. Richard Codey passing the Hero Act. Among other things, the legislation requires that New Jersey residents be asked if they would like to have the organ donor designation on their driver licenses or state identifications when at motor vehicle agencies across the state.

Chief Nursing Officer Morristown Memorial Hospital

John S. Radomski, M.D., FACS Chairman, Department of Surgery Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center

Prakash Rao, Ph.D, MBA, FACHE, HCLD Chief Operating Officer NJ Sharing Network Laboratory

Bruce Stroever President & CEO Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation

Marc DiNardo’s widow, Mary, with their daughter, Gwen.

the gift of life if something were to ever happen to him. Firefighters and police officers whose lives have been saved as a result of organ donation and transplantation also addressed the crowd. The commemorative event was attended by some 500 individuals, including Marc DiNardo’s fellow Jersey City police officers, members of the Jersey City Fire Department, members of the state Police Benevolent Association, the NJ State Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA), State Police, and Port Authority Police. The FMBA bagpipe unit performed and police boats sprayed water from the

More than 500 people attended Legacy of Heroes, a commemorative event honoring Detective Marc DiNardo at Liberty State Park on July 21.



Common Questions About Organ & Tissue Donation Who can become an organ & tissue donor? Anyone can decide to be a donor. A person’s physical condition, not his or her age, determines the potential for organ and tissue donation and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the time of death. Visit your local Motor Vehicle Agency and ask for the donor designation to be added to your driver’s license or ID card and let your family see that you support organ donation. Or visit www.donatelifenj.org to register online.

Which organs can be donated? Currently, someone may be able to donate his or her heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, and small intestine depending on their age, medical condition and circumstances at the time of death. Many patients who are organ donors may also be candidates for tissue donation.

Is there an age limit for donation? There is no age limit for organ donation. NJ Sharing Network has successfully recovered organs from donors as young as a few days to adults in their 90s. A patient's medical history is more important than the age of the donor. If a patient has a normal functioning organ and is in good health, then organ donation is an option.

How are donated organs allocated? They are allocated on the following criteria: match with donor, medical emergency and time on waiting list. A patient’s age, gender, race, ethnicity or wealth do not affect who receives available organs.

Will my own medical care be compromised if the hospital is aware that I have an organ donor designation on my license? The decision to be an organ donor will in no way affect the level of medical care for a sick or injured person. The team of doctors and nurses involved in treating the patient is not involved with the transplant/recovery team, which is called only after death has occurred.

How to Register to Become an Organ and Tissue Donor Please visit www.donatelifenj.org, and click on “Become a Donor” Complete the demographic information form and hit submit or click “No thanks, please take me to the online registry”. This brings you to the secure NJ MVC Donate Life NJ registration page.

IMPORTANT AT THIS POINT—Do NOT provide any information. Click on the USER ID NUMBER REQUEST link to begin registration. Go to “User Authentication” and enter your credentials: zip code, driver’s license number, and social security number and click “continue”. Click on box to register online and click submit. Click on the circle to donate organ and click “continue”. Review this page and click on submit. Print the organ donor confirmation page for your records.



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Christopher Muniz, kidney recipient

ABOVE AND BEYOND Pat Rush, donor wife and mother — and dedicated volunteer—presented with Champion for Life 2010 Award

Pat Rush, always ready with a smile and comforting words, understands what organ recipient families are experiencing. Her grandson, now a graduate student at Caldwell College and teaching in Newark, received his first liver transplant when he was only 8-months-old, and a second at the age of 3.

So when Pat’s youngest son died suddenly, and then her husband passed away at a later date, she followed through with their wishes to be donors. There was solace in knowing that others, like her grandson, would benefit. Pat has been an active supporter and volunteer for organ and tissue donor awareness since the early 1990s. She is an office volunteer at NJ Sharing Network, and also volunteers in the community informing others about donation. She has been to health fairs and hospitals, spoken to health-care professionals and clergy, as well as donor and recipient families, and has spent countless hours stuffing envelopes. But what Pat says she finds most rewarding as a volunteer is calling donor families close to

the year anniversary of their loss. She has been making these personal and often very emotional calls since 2004. “I speak to them or leave a message from NJ Sharing Network,” she says. “The conversations I have may be short or very long, but are always received with gratitude.”

NJ Sharing Network’s volunteer staff consists of over 400 dedicated individuals called “Champions for Life.” Members help out in many ways, from office work, community outreach and public speaking, as well as by serving on various boards. To learn more about becoming a “Champions for Life” volunteer, visit www.sharenj.org or call Volunteer Coordinator, Mike Ussak at 908-516-5698.

LET’S GET CLINICAL And the Winner Is… NJ Sharing Network

Pediatric Designated Requester Programs

Earlier this year, Joe Roth, president and CEO of NJ Sharing Network, was presented with the CryoLife/AOPO Achievement Award. This national award recognizes an individual in the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) who has demonstrated significant professional and/or personal contributions to the Association. The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) announced the 2009 Achievement and Technical Awards at its recent Technical Symposium held in Princeton. NJ Sharing Network was recognized with a certificate for reaching a level of “best practice” in donor chart release.

The care of a critically ill pediatric patient who is a potential organ/tissue donor provides an opportunity for NJ Sharing Network to work collaboratively with the pediatric critical care physician. NJ Sharing Network invites pediatric intensivists in our service area to attend one of our Pediatric Designated Requester Programs. Programs are scheduled for Oct. 6, 2010 and Jan. 27, 2011. There is no registration fee. This program incorporates the required CMS standards to become a Certified Designated Requestor.

Joe Roth, President and CEO, NJ Sharing Network

NJ Sharing Network was also named a finalist in NJBIZ’s 2010 Healthcare Hero awards program under the “Education Hero-Organization” category. Finalists were recognized at an awards breakfast in June.

For more information, contact Barbara Mariani at bmariani@sharenj.org or 908-516-5400. www.sharenj.org




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Donate Life Month Helps Spread Important Message During April, National Donate Life Month, more than 100 awareness events and donor designation drives took place in hospitals, businesses, schools and Motor Vehicle Agencies throughout the state. Many of our hospital partners participated in a month-long, e-blast campaign encouraging online donor registration. Press conferences about Donate Life Month proclamations were held in Trenton, North Plainfield and Elizabeth. A “Quilts of Love� exhibit was displayed at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Pictured above: 1. The second Downtown Comedy Jam at Hotoke in New Brunswick featured sushi, comedy and poetry, online organ donor registration and a receptive crowd. 2. The PNC Bank Arts Center sign in Holmdel instructed Garden State Parkway drivers to become organ donors. 3. Recognition and outreach efforts at the Flemington Motor Vehicle Agency. 4. A Donate Life Month press conference was held in Trenton. 5. NJ Sharing Network staff members visited the City of Plainfield, for a special proclamation of Donate Life Month.

Share Your Story at MyNewOrgan.org

Morgan Johnson, left, with her best friend and kidney donor, Kellye



Earlier this year, NJ Sharing Network launched MyNewOrgan.org, a website where transplant recipients can share how they got their lives back thanks to the generosity of an organ donor. Recipients tell their personal stories, give thanks to their donors and donor families and talk about why registering to be a donor is so important. Inspirational stories include those of Morgan Johnson, the recipient of a kidney transplant from her best friend, Kellye; Bob Herron, a heart recipient who now volunteers with NJ Sharing Network; and Jessica Melore, who received her new heart at age 16, and now, 10 years later, is a motivational speaker. If you are a transplant recipient or your life has been touched somehow by organ donation, you can add your own video to MyNewOrgan.org. Just upload your personal recording or create one using a webcam. Visit www.MyNewOrgan.org to learn more.

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Circle of Life Gala Award Winners

6th Annual Circle of Life Gala NJ Sharing Network held its 6th Annual Circle of Life Gala on April 23 at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset. More than 300 nurses, doctors and other members of the medical community attended the gala to be recognized for their collective and singular accomplishments and their continued commitment and dedication to organ and tissue donation. Congratulations to all the honorees noted at right. This year’s Circle of Life Awardees included, 1. Nurse Champion Irena Jovanoska, RN, BSN, with Joe Roth, CEO, NJ Sharing Network. 2. Donation Advocate Sarah A. Walters, MS, The University Hospital – UMDNJ, with Oscar Colon, Clinical Donation Specialist, NJ Sharing Network. 3. Physician Champion Steven C. Jacoby, MD, The Valley Hospital, with his family.

Celebration of Life and Remembrance Over 700 people attended our annual Celebration of Life and Remembrance event at the Forest Lodge in Warren on July 10. This event truly represents our mission, for it brings together donor families, volunteers (many of whom are transplant recipients), hospital and community partners and NJ Sharing Network employees and gives them a chance to meet and connect with one another. It is a true “Celebration of Life.” 1. Liver recipient and volunteer Jim Rhatican (white shirt) with the Cappas family who attended in memory of their loved one, Pedro Cappas. 2. Clinical Donation Specialist Oscar Colon and heart transplant recipient Vicki-Eze Hunter leading BINGO. 3. Michelle Davies with her seven-day-old son, the youngest guest to date. 4. The family of Richard Defilippis in front of their quilt square. 5. Knicky Ann Snyder’s family came wearing special t-shirts in her memory.


Top Organ Donor Hospital The University Hospital-UMDNJ Top Tissue Donor Hospital Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Highest Conversion Rate Morristown Memorial Hospital Best Donor Management The University Hospital-UMDNJ Most Organ Donors After Cardiac Death Cooper University Hospital Physician Champion Steven C. Jacoby, MD The Valley Hospital Nurse Champion Irena Jovanoska, RN, BSN Donation Advocate Sarah A. Walters, MS The University Hospital-UMDNJ Most Supportive Medical Examiner Tara Briley, Investigator Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office Most Supportive Funeral Home Smith-McCracken Funeral Home Award of Distinction Jersey City Medical Center


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To see more pictures from our events, please visit our event section at sharenj.org.



Heart transplant recipient Stefania DeMayo with her twin daughters Melania, left, and Natalia, age 6 months.




of His Heart

Sean Clegg's heart helped to save not just one life, but three. This is the story of Stefania DeMayo, heart transplant recipient and mother of twins. The heart of Sean Clegg not only saved Stefania DeMayo’s life, but it made it possible for her to become the mom of twins. Stefania and Sean’s mother, Gail, have grown so close they consider each other family. Pregnancy was the farthest thing from NJ Sharing Network volunteer Stefania DeMayo’s mind when she became seriously ill on her honeymoon. After struggling with a mistaken diagnosis of a lung ailment, Stefania was finally

diagnosed in 2007 with restrictive cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes a stiffening of the heart muscle, eventually causing the heart to fail. After spending six months at home on intravenous fluids, followed by two months in the hospital, Stefania finally received a life-saving heart transplant in August 2008. Stefania’s new heart came from 14-year-old Sean Clegg, whose family made the courageous decision to donate his organs after he was struck

by a car and killed while riding his bike.“The decision to donate Sean’s organs gave me a choice at a time when I felt I didn’t have any,” says Sean’s mother, Gail. Sixteen months after receiving her heart transplant, Stefania gave birth to twin girls Melania and Natalia on Dec. 29, 2009 at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Though there have been reported pregnancies following a heart transplant, Stefania’s doctors believe she is the



His Heart Will Go On and On (continued from pg. 9) work’s “High School Heroes” program. And Stefania's story of “the first heart transplant recipient to become the mother of twins” has been covered by local and national, as well as international, media outlets. Stefania and her babies have appeared on The Early Show on CBS and will be featured in Women’s World magazine this August. “It’s very important to me,” says Stefania about having her story be told as a way of creating awareness, “very, very important to me.”

Stefania considers donor mother Gail Clegg family and calls her "grandma" to her twin daughters.

first heart transplant recipient to give birth to twins. Traditionally, pregnancy is difficult for organ transplant recipients because of the stress it places on the organs. The joy of the physicians on the day the twins were born, at what they

gift of life, this is by far the “most amazing.” Hearing Stefania and Richard call Gail and her husband, Andy, grandparents to the girls, makes them realize how Sean’s gift is making life go on. “The babies would have made Sean

“We all die; the goal is to create something

that will live forever.”

call a true miracle, does not even come close to matching that of the twin girls’ parents, Stefania and Richard. Just a short 16 months after her son Sean’s tragic accident, Gail Clegg was able to hold twin girls Melania and Natalia. Gail remarks that while she has witnessed many “bittersweet” miracles in the time since her son Sean gave the

proud,” says Gail. “He loved to help people, and would have been very happy to have sisters.” Helping spread the word about the importance of being an organ donor is vital to both Gail and Stefania. This year’s Circle of Life Gala included a moving tribute by Gail to her son Sean. Gail also speaks frequently to groups of teenagers as a volunteer for NJ Sharing Net-

Special guests at the 6th Annual Circle of Life Gala, included, from left, Brian Clegg, Sean’s brother; Richard DeMayo; Gail and Andy Clegg, holding the DeMayo twins; and Stefania DeMayo.


The many ways Sean lives on Stefania was just one of the recipients of Sean Clegg’s donated organs and tissues. Among them is a woman who waited 20 years to be matched with a pancreas, a 40-year-old mother of two who received his liver, and a woman that had to rely on her family to help her take care of herself for several years before she received one of Sean’s two donated kidneys. A Toms River man had his right lung replaced in August, making him one of the first recipients from the new transplant program in Newark. Lastly, the family recently learned that Sean’s corneas are providing sight to a grateful recipient in Egypt. A quote from Sean’s My Space page says it all, “We all die … the goal is to create something that will live forever.” Through this one act of kindness, Sean created more than he ever could have imagined.

SEPTEMBER 2010 Photos on cover, pgs. 8-9, and top pg. 10 courtesy of photographer Geovanna Vargas. For info email vannavargas@hotmail.com.

NJ Sharing Network Family Support Coordinator Jay Arisso, Jr. comforts the family of Maria Pomavilla during an emotional tribute that introduced them to the recipients whose lives were saved by Maria’s gift.

Maria’s Legacy Family members of Newark High school student meet recipients of her organs at a special tribute Maria Pomavilla was a daughter, a sister, a mother and a friend. The 18-year-old honors student at East Side High School in Newark planned on attending college in the fall. But her life was cut short suddenly in a tragic hit and run accident in April. She was later pronounced brain dead at a Newark hospital. Just weeks before the accident, Maria and her brother listened to retired police officer, Steven Sims, himself a heart transplant recipient, speak to classes at East Side about the importance of organ and tissue donation. So, when a representative of NJ Sharing Network approached Maria’s family about the

possibility of donation, her brother was already on board. Informed and educated by the officer’s discussion he heard in school, the sophomore student encouraged his mother and father to offer his sister’s organs, reminding them that she had been “a very generous and giving person in life.” Five people desperately awaiting organ transplants got new leases on life that day. Those five lives saved are the latest examples of the impact of New Jersey’s Hero Act, a state law requiring that all public high schools provide education on organ and tissue donation. The law is the first of its kind in the country. What would the future have held for the five recipients of her organs if her brother had never heard Officer Sims speak about the value of organ and tissue donation? On June 9, NJ Sharing Network, in conjunction with East Side High School, held a community healing program to honor Maria. Heart recipient Darren Knox and liver recipient Suzanne Gonzales attended the moving tribute.

If you are interested in bringing organ and tissue donation education to your high school, please contact high school Education Manager Pierre Embrey at 908-516-5689 or highschoolheroes@sharenj.org. Five lives were miraculously saved by organ donor Maria Pomavilla (April 24, 1991 to April 19, 2010).

Maria’s story was broadcast by seven different media outlets including CBS, seen here interviewing heart recipient, Darren Knox.


NJ Sharing Network volunteer and heart recipient Steven Sims, who had spoken at East Side just months before about organ and tissue donation, was understandably emotional as he addressed the students this second time.




Dear Friends of NJ Sharing Network,


The past five months have been amazing for me in so many ways. I am inspired each and every day by the stories of our donor families and recipients.

SUPPORT OUR MISSION NJ Sharing Network Foundation generates philanthropic support for the various programs of NJ Sharing Network. Your support can help increase the number of lives saved through organ and tissue donation.

You can help by making a contribution or tribute gift today. Visit us online at:


FOUNDATION BOARD Donna Albanese, Chairperson Dairy Queen of Plainfield Resident of Scotch Plains

I am also very thankful for the opportunity to work with the devoted staff at NJ Sharing Network and all of the hospital partners, physicians, nurses, and countless others who have dedicated their lives to saving lives. Transplantation has come a long way in the last few decades, and there is still so much more that can be done. Our Foundation’s mission is to generate philanthropic support to increase the number of lives saved through organ and tissue donation. I invite you to join us in our mission. You can learn more about the Foundation at our newly launched website, NJSharingNetworkFoundation.org. Here, you will find the latest news about our efforts and special events and learn about how you can get involved. Another feature of the new website is the capability to accept online contributions, making it convenient and simple to help make a difference. I look forward to the months and years ahead, and I thank you for your support.

Marla Bace Brinton Eaton Resident of Berkeley Heights

Phyllis A. Caputo, R.N. Resident of Fairfield

Alberta D’Addio

Elisse E. Glennon Executive Director

Resident of Watchung

Phyllis L. Elin Atlantic Tomorrows Office Resident of Morristown

Thomas Ludlum, Esq. City of Paterson Law Department, Ludlum Law Offices Resident of Glen Rock

Charles T. Pace, CPA, CMA, MBA

P.S. If you haven’t been to our state-of-the-art new headquarters, we’d love to have you. You can call 908-516-5614 to arrange a personal tour, or join us at our open house on Friday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. Either way, we hope to see you soon!

‘You Only Get What You Give’

Resident of Oakland

Anthony E. Pizzutillo Smith Pizzutillo LLC Resident of Lawrenceville

Mark E. Reagan Marsh, Inc. , Global Construction Practice Resident of Basking Ridge

Bernard Simon Resident of Edison

Myles Varley Personal Resource Management Associates, Inc. Resident of Mount Olive Township


Alli Keleman

Executive Director 908-516-5614 eglennon@sharenj.org

Events Manager 908-516-5696 akeleman@sharenj.org

Alyssa D’Addio Intern 908-516-5432 adaddio@sharenj.org

Fan us at facebook.com/njsharing network foundation

I know first-hand how NJ Sharing Network can turn the tragedy of losing a loved one into a celebration of the power of giving life. My dad passed away suddenly on April 17, 2009 from a brain hemorrhage. Joseph D’Addio was a giving man with a passion for helping others. He often quoted a New Radicals song which says: “Don’t give up, you’ve got a reason to live, can’t forget you only get what you give.” So when NJ Sharing Network approached my family about organ donation, we knew it was the right thing to do. NJ Sharing Network has guided me and my family through the healing process – and now I feel as though I can’t give back enough. Six months after my dad passed away, my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, hosted the “Joe D’Addio Softball Tournament” to benefit NJ Sharing Network. It seemed like

all of Muhlenberg College was wearing a “Donate Life” bracelet. On the year anniversary of my father’s passing, friends, family and NJ Sharing Network gathered and celebrated my dad’s life at Martini Bistro and Bar in Millburn. I am now honored to be interning for the NJ Sharing Network Foundation. I would never have thought that after my father’s passing there would be a reason to celebrate. But we can because my father lives on in others. Now my dad is not only my hero, but someone else’s hero, too.

–Alyssa D’Addio



OUNDATION NEWS • FOUNDATION NEWS Memorials Honor Donors, Serve as Inspirations

The NJ Sharing Network Foundation has partnered with both Jersey Shore University Medical Center ( JSUMC) and Jersey City Medical Center ( JCMC) to create special memorials honoring organ and tissue donors from their hospitals. JSUMC broke ground on “Zan’s Garden of Life,” a donor memorial garden in the Brennan Courtyard of this South Jersey Trauma Center. The garden is named after Alexandra “Zan” Tozzi, the daughter of Dr. John Tozzi, the direc-

tor of orthopedics at JSUMC, who passed away at the age of 13 and gave the gift of life through organ donation. The name of each organ and/or tissue donor, whose family has elected to participate, will have their name engraved on a brick within the garden. At JCMC, the “Wall of Heroes” will display photographs submitted by family members and letters from transplant recipients which will personalize the impact of the gift of life. The memorial will be created in a space adjacent to critical care waiting areas in hopes that families facing end of life decisions will be inspired to learn more about donation. The memorial will grow as new photos of donors are added each year. “Zan’s Garden of Life” and the “Wall of Heroes” will both serve as inspirations for other families facing the donation decision, and in turn, increase donation awareness.

The NJ Sharing Network Foundation seeks to work with more partner hospitals to create donor memorials. For more information and to request a grant application, please contact Elisse Glennon at eglennon@sharenj.org.

Powerful memorials honoring donors are currently in the works at two of our partner hospitals. Pictured: Jersey Shore University Medical Center broke ground on “Zan's Garden”.

Meet the Foundation Board Led by chairwoman, Donna Albanese, the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees is continuing to create innovative strategic initiatives to support increased organ and tissue donations. Albanese, a living kidney donor (to her mother Adele), is the owner/operator of the Dairy Queen in Plainfield, where she has been a long-standing contributor to the community, including the spearheading of community improvement projects and successful fundraising initiatives. NJ Sharing Network Foundation is a diverse group of individuals from both public

and private sectors who have been touched by donation, including donor families and recipients. NJ Sharing Network Foundation is proud to introduce two new board members, Alberta D’Addio and Marla Bace, both of whom bring great experience and fresh insights. The board is planning several special events including our Golf and Tennis Invitational, a 5K Walk/Run and a 25th Anniversary Gala. If you are interested in joining one of these event committees, please contact Elisse Glennon at 908-516-5614.

Pictured at a recent NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Meeting are: standing, from left, Thomas Ludlum, Esq., Barry Newman, Phyllis Caputo, R.N., Anthony Pizzutillo, Charles Pace, CPA, CMA, MBA, and Myles Varley. Seated, from left, are Joseph Roth, Elisse Glennon, Donna Albanese and Bernard Simon. Not pictured: Alberta D’Addio, Marla Bace, Phyllis Elin, and Mark Reagan.

Why I Gave to NJ Sharing Network “Recently, I was struggling with what to get a friend who lacks for nothing as a wedding gift. Then I remembered that her brother had previously had not one, but two, kidney transplants, so I thought of NJ Sharing Network and decided to give a financial donation as a wedding gift. I was recently reminded by the marquee at our neighborhood school that ‘the best things in life are not things,’ and I could not agree more!” Sylvia A. Martinez Garwood, NJ

OUNDATION NEWS • FOUNDATION NEWS njsharingnetworkfoundation.org





The 9th Annual ICREW NJ Golf Classic benefitting NJ Sharing Network was held in May at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township. Thanks to Silvana F. Finizio (right), president, ICREW NJ, Pat Radziewicz, director of special projects, and the rest of ICREW NJ for a successful outing. ICREW NJ, a non-profit organization, is the New Jersey Chapter of CREW Network, the Network of Commercial Real Estate Women.

Family and friends gathered at Martini Bistro & Bar in Millburn to encourage donor registration and raise money for NJ Sharing Network Foundation in memory of organ donor Joseph D’Addio on April 17, 2010, the year anniversary of his passing.

In March, Stefanie Haim coordinated the 2nd Annual Gala fundraiser in memory of her dear friend, Andres Canela, at the Stone House in Warren.

"Community Healing," the 11th Annual Heritage Awards Gala held in February, recognized the contributions of Ericka Pino, of Telemundo 52; the Hon. Jose Torres, Mayor of Paterson; National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Epsilon Alpha Chapter; the family of Dennis John; and the South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters, Inc. Special thanks to gold sponsor Genentech, a member of Roche Group; silver sponsors Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Novartis Pharmaceuticals; and Essex County Links, Inc.



OUNDATION NEWS • FOUNDATION NEWS The 12th Annual Tee-Up for Transplants Golf Invitational took place in June at the Somerset Hills Country Club in Bernardsville, raising over $60,000. Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, was the event’s Platinum Sponsor. More than 80 golfers were joined by 16 tennis players for the first annual “Rally for Life” round robin. A golf foursome of heart recipients earned third place, proving that transplants truly mean a second chance at life.

OUNDATION NEWS • FOUNDATION NEWS njsharingnetworkfoundation.org



PAID Union, NJ

691 Central Avenue New Providence, NJ 07974 1-800-SHARE-NJ (1-800-742-7365) 908-516-5400

Permit No. 931

DID YOU KNOW? Currently, there are over 108,000 people waiting for a life-saving transplant. Over 4,600 are here in New Jersey.

If you no longer wish to receive information from NJ Sharing Network, please call 908-516-5400.

Tissue recipient thanks donor family with eagle feather, a Hopi Indian symbol for ‘the breath of life’ The following is just one example of the many beautiful letters written by transplant recipients to their donor families. Greetings to my donor family, I recently underwent GI surgery and needed graft (skin) tissue to close up my wounds. After surgery, I was informed that donated tissue was used to complete the surgery. I am a 48-year-old Native American male from northern Arizona and a member of the Hopi Indian tribe, considered the oldest Native culture in North America. Our cultural tenets teach us that when we are healed through the unselfishness and giving of others, that, as life, is among the greatest honors one can bestow on others. I am humbled and forever thankful that

your deceased loved one was such a person. I also truly believe that he/she has been blessed by the creator and that we will meet with them again. I have been given a second chance and will endeavor to fulfill the positive aspects of my life. I have enclosed an eagle feather down which signifies the breath of life in our culture. It is a sacred symbol of prayer in life and death. I would ask that you give a prayer in thanksgiving and happiness to your deceased loved one and release the eagle down in the wind. I send this symbol with all my love and

gratitude to your family, and most important, in memory of your loved one. May your creator give you a pathway of beauty and give you comfort in knowing that you are blessed with having a true human life that was unselfish and giving. Again, thank you to you and yours for this gift of life to me. All my love forever.

–Grateful Tissue Recipient

SAVE THE DATE October 14, 2010

Spring 2011

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Circle of Life Magazine: Fall 2010  

One Heart Saves Three Lives: Transplant recipient gives birth to twin daughters A publication of NJ Sharing Network

Circle of Life Magazine: Fall 2010  

One Heart Saves Three Lives: Transplant recipient gives birth to twin daughters A publication of NJ Sharing Network