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FA L L 2 0 1 3 VOLUME 4



Innovative Lab Sciences Saving More Lives

WAITING FOR THE CALL: One Woman’s Hope, Another Woman’s Faith

We spend considerable time talking about the waiting list in New Jersey; right now there are nearly 5,000 people hoping and praying for a life-saving organ. At NJ Sharing Network, we celebrate every life saved when an organ is matched with someone on this list. And, along with the families, we mourn the loss of a loved one and those who simply couldn’t wait any longer.


Bruce I. Goldstein, Esq. Vice Chair

Howard A. Nelson Treasurer

Marc H. Lory Secretary

Patrick M. Buddle, MD Margaret Dreker Bonnie Evans

Our organization is proud that we save as many lives as we do, but it haunts us to know that people still die every day waiting. Together, we must ensure that anyone who wants to be an organ donor knows about the process and is promptly registered. In this issue of Circle of Life, we tell the story of hope and perseverance through the eyes of Dorothea Duffy, who has been on the waiting list for a kidney since 2010. She recently visited Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, where she heard comforting words from Dr. Stuart R. Geffner, a transplant surgeon, and Gwendolyn Anderson, a Newark woman who was fortunate to receive a kidney nearly four years ago.

Edward J. Florio, Esq. Michael P. Hedden Aline M. Holmes, RN Anthony L. Marchetta Vijay Rajput, MD Timothy J. Touhey

ADVISORY BOARD Loretta Aigner, RN Transplant Center Administrator Representative

Gail Clegg Organ and Tissue Donor Family Member Representative

Roseann DiBrienza, RN, MS Public Representative

Stuart R. Geffner, MD

NJ Sharing Network is also working to reduce the waiting list through the groundbreaking work of our on-site lab. Under the leadership of Dr. Prakash Rao, we are finding ways to make more donated organs viable for transplant, helping ensure that precious gifts are not wasted. You can learn more about Dr. Rao and his incredible team in this issue of the magazine, in which we are proud to profile their work, a state-of-the-art lab and his commitment to medical advances that will ultimately save lives in New Jersey and across the globe. During this year’s National Donor Sabbath Nov. 15-17, we focused on compassion, courage, and charity – virtues of central significance for every major religion. As always, NJ Sharing Network hosted events with clergy, who play a critical role in guiding families through serious lifetime decisions. Thank you for your continued support of NJ Sharing Network. Together, we are making an incredible difference in reducing the waiting list.

Transplant Surgeon Representative

Michael Gould, MD Emergency Room Personnel Representative

Sarah E. Jensen, Esq. Public Representative

David A. Laskow, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative

James Lim, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative

Debra L. Morgan, MSW, LCSW Transplant Center Administrator Representative

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

Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD Transplant Center Administrator Representative

Trish O’Keefe, RN, MSN Hospital Administrator Representative

Ty J. Olson, MD Neurosurgeon Representative

John S. Radomski, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative

Prakash Rao, PhD, MBA, FACHE, HCLD Human Histocompatibility Specialist Representative

Bruce Stroever Tissue Bank Representative

Harry Sun, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative

Dorian J. Wilson, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative

Pictured (l-r): Dr. Stuart R. Geffner, Dorothea Duffy, and Gwendolyn Anderson at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

Mark J. Zucker, MD Transplant Physician Representative



On the Cover: Pictured (l-r): Dorothea Duffy, waiting for a kidney; Dr. Stuart R. Geffner, transplant surgeon at Saint Barnabas; Gwendolyn Anderson, kidney transplant recipient.

FOUNDATION BOARD Peter Rooney, Chair Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide Resident of Mendham

As the year comes to a close, I would like to reflect on our successes and give thanks to all who have helped us in our life-saving mission. Let me start by telling you about our 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic, held for the first time at the prestigious Baltusrol Golf Club. Golfers enjoyed playing on the same beautiful course that will host the 2016 PGA Championship, and we look forward to another classic on October 6 of next year as our relationship with Baltusrol continues.

Marla Bace, Vice Chair Circles, a division of Sodexo Resident of Berkeley Heights

Philip S. Kolm, Treasurer Resident of Fort Lee

Alberta D’Addio, Secretary Resident of Watchung

Donna Albanese-DeMair, Immediate Past Chair Dairy Queen of Plainfield Resident of Scotch Plains

J.D. de Leon Resident of Jersey City

More important, the event helped us raise philanthropic dollars to further our efforts to save lives through organ and tissue donation. These projects include the new organ and tissue donation exhibit at Liberty Science Center, the publication of a children’s book that explores our annual 5K fundraiser through the eyes of a child, and EffectiveArts, an organization that uses consulting, research and training to improve consent rates.

Juanita DiNizo

Your support also enables us to be represented on the Donate Life America Rose Parade float. Millions of television viewers will see Bergen County resident Pam Drozd honor her husband’s final act of kindness — the gift of life — at the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day. Pam’s husband, Mike, passed away in 2008 and became a tissue donor helping 57 people. Pam will decorate a “floragraph” portrait of Mike that will be displayed on the float.

Honorable F. Michael Giles

I hope you enjoy this issue, which includes a poignant article about the challenge of waiting for a life-saving organ, as well as an exploration of our state-of-the-art laboratory and its critical role in our mission to save lives. On page 14 we list the supporters of our 2013 Annual Fund — and I want to thank every one of them for their generosity and commitment to our work. And let me welcome Dan Sarnowski, the newest member of our Foundation board. Dan volunteers to honor the gift of his longtime companion, Betsy Niles, who became an organ donor in 2011. I know our board will benefit from Dan’s insight, ideas and commitment. Finally I want to tell you that we are already gearing up for next year’s 4th Annual NJ Sharing Network 5K Walk & USATF-Certified Race. Mark your calendars for June 8, 2014, and please accept my heartfelt thanks for all the ways you support our mission to save lives.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Resident of Scotch Plains

Lenore C. Ford Resident of Morristown

Randi Geffner Resident of Livingston Resident of West Orange

Derlys M. Gutierrez, Esq. Adams Stern Gutierrez & Lattiboudere, LLC Resident of Montclair

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

Lisa Meyers Summit YMCA Resident of Summit

Anthony E. Pizzutillo Smith Pizzutillo LLC Resident of Lawrenceville

Helen Taverna Reagan Resident of Basking Ridge

Suzann Rizzo Investors Bank Resident of Staten Island

Daniel Sarnowski Resident of Cutchogue, NY

Bernard Simon Resident of Edison

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

Ex-Officio Members: Joseph S. Roth

Elisse Glennon Executive Director, Foundation NJ Sharing Network

President and CEO NJ Sharing Network

Barry Newman Chief Financial Officer NJ Sharing Network

Elisse Glennon Executive Director NJ Sharing Network Foundation

EDITORIAL TEAM Mara Barlow Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications NJ Sharing Network Members of Team Liberty traveled to Houston, Texas, to attend the manager’s planning meeting for the 2014 Transplant Games of America taking place in the city. Team Liberty, a program of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation, supports transplant community athletes who compete in Olympic-style games. Pictured (l-r) are Team Liberty co-managers Victor DiSanto, Michael Strusiak, Michael DiPiano and Patti DiSanto. More information is available at GoTeamLiberty.org.

Lernard Freeman Public Relations Manager NJ Sharing Network

Co-Produced by Jaffe Communications & Campbell Health Media Contributors: Jay Arisso, Jr. Pam DeLuca Jan Hines David O’Hara





Hope, Healing at Remembrance Ceremony More than 300 people came together at the annual Donor Remembrance Ceremony on October 20 to remember and honor our donors. NJ Sharing Network staff, donor family members and recipients shared hugs and tears with the families as their loved ones were remembered in a special photo and tribute presentation. It was a day of healing and hope as stories of courage, generosity and love overflowed. Among those present were Ret. Honorable Judge and Mrs. F. Michael Giles, who came to honor their son, Dr. Randall Giles. A part of their tribute to him read: “He was a physician who cared about people and always tried to ease discomfort. He is truly one of the greatest blessings to grace our lives and we are blessed to have his

CBS News: A Hero’s Legacy Lives On

beautiful spirit forever in our hearts. May his legacy live on in his children and in those who received his gifts.” Some families paid tribute with poems or letters and other poignant words, as photographs flashed on a screen. Kevin Morales Mejill will “always be in our hearts” and Scott Miller’s memory “remains in his ability to give others a reason to smile.” The family of Kurt Daniel Bundschuh will “find comfort knowing that through his death he has helped others.” Tears fell as so many other families remembered their loved one’s legacy of hope and generosity.

Training Dates Nursing Contact Hours

An emotional and poignant segment on CBS national news tells the story of Mary DiNardo meeting the recipient of her husband's heart, Don Zolkwisky, a decorated war veteran from South Plainfield. Mary’s husband, Marc DiNardo, was a 37-year-old Jersey City police detective killed in the line of duty in 2009.

December 10, 2013 NJ Sharing Network Headquarters 9:00 – 10:00 AM and 4:00 – 5:00 PM Contact Barbara Turci at bturci@njsharingnetwork.org

Recently, Mary met Don for the first time at NJ Sharing Network headquarters in New Providence. Newscaster Scott Pelley opened the CBS segment by saying that even after his death, Detective Marc DiNardo continues to save lives. The segment can be viewed on NJSharingNetwork.org. Pictured are Don and Mary with the DiNardo children, Marc Anthony, 7, Ella, 6, and Gwendolyn, 8.

Volunteer Certification Training January 25, 2014 NJ Sharing Network Headquarters Contact Pam DeLuca at pdeluca@njsharingnetwork.org

Donor Advocacy Training Days January 10, 2014 Morristown Medical Center

National Donor Sabbath Programs Faith leaders can provide crucial support to families facing unforeseen tragedy. To increase support and understanding of organ and tissue donation, NJ Sharing Network has faith-based outreach efforts year-round for religious leaders of all faiths. To strengthen those bonds, NJ Sharing Network participates in conferences and hosts programs for the religious community. On September 26, NJ Sharing Network participated in the Pastors Appreciation Luncheon in New York, hosted by Dr. David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries. More than 600 pastors from the tri-state area attended, providing NJ Sharing Network with a great way to connect with New Jersey’s faith-based community. On October 9, religious leaders gathered at NJ Sharing Network headquarters for a Donor Sabbath Faith-Based Community Gathering. The religious leaders heard personal testimony and gained perspective from inter-


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disciplinary faith leaders about how donation saves lives, restores health, and offers hope and healing to the communities they serve. The events were in preparation for National Donor Sabbath Weekend that took place November 15-17. At the gatherings, faith leaders, such as Jewish rabbis, Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, Buddhist leaders and others spoke about how their religious faith supports donation as a generous, lifesaving act. “Each year we gather with faith leaders who talk about the value of donation. They talk about how donation is a generous act supported by their faith,” said Jay Arisso, Jr., manager of family services at NJ Sharing Network.

January 27, 2014 Saint Barnabas Medical Center Contact Barbara Mariani at bmariani@njsharingnetwork.org

Volunteer Spotlight It was in 2002 that NJ Sharing Network volunteer Matt Barbagallo donated the kidney that extended his mother’s life by six years. It also was his first step into understanding the amazing gift of organ and tissue donation and how such generosity can help so many people live happy and healthy lives. In March 2007, Matt learned about NJ Sharing Network when a volunteer was needed to participate in a display at Paramus High School, where he works as a custodian. From there, he was asked to staff a table at the local Motor Vehicle Commission agency in Oakland. And so from the end of 2007 until today, you can find Matt every Saturday morning at the MVC agency. He sets up his table and display by 7:45 a.m., says hello to his many friends on the MVC staff and spends the morning encouraging motorists to check the box to register as potential organ donors. “Matt has played an instrumental role in helping NJ Sharing Network increase the number of people who are on the donor registry. This is the first step in helping the nearly 5,000 people waiting for a life-saving transplant here in

Lives Saved through Organ Donation* Bayonne Medical Center Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell Capital Health Regional Medical Center Chilton Hospital Cooper University Hospital Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Hackensack University Medical Center Hoboken University Medical Center Holy Name Hospital Jersey City Medical Center Jersey Shore University Medical Center JFK Medical Center Morristown Medical Center Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Ocean Medical Center Overlook Medical Center Raritan Bay Medical Center Old Bridge Riverview Medical Center Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway Saint Barnabas Medical Center St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center The Valley Hospital University Hospital University Medical Center Princeton at Plainsboro January - September 2013 Total

5 2 36 2 40 5 11 2 2 9 26 20 22 5 3 4 3 2 17 2 8 26 11 32 2 297

New Jersey,” said Pam DeLuca, who oversees the volunteer program as assistant director of NJ Sharing Network Foundation. “When people come in I answer questions about organ donation and try to point them in the right direction,” he said. “I talk about the need to make the registry bigger and about how organ and tissue donation saves lives. When people thank me, it puts a big smile on my face. It means so much.” If you would like to learn more about NJ Sharing Network’s Volunteer Ambassador program, please contact Pam DeLuca at pdeluca@njsharingnetwork.org.

DONOR REGISTRATION GROWS IN NJ There are 5.6 million licensed drivers and ID holders living in Northern and Central NJ. The number of people registering as organ and tissue donors continues to grow each year. Despite this increase, New Jersey still ranks among the lowest in the nation. County







2013 Q2


36.1% 33.0% 30.8% 30.8% 25.4% 26.7% 23.2% 26.3% 21.9% 17.9% 18.2% 14.7% 16.9% 18.1% 22.3%

38.7% 35.9% 33.5% 33.4% 28.3% 29.1% 25.9% 28.4% 24.1% 20.6% 20.7% 17.5% 19.4% 20.3% 24.7%

40.5% 38.0% 35.8% 35.3% 30.6% 31.1% 28.5% 30.0% 25.9% 23.1% 22.9% 20.3% 21.5% 22.2% 26.8%

42.8% 40.1% 37.9% 37.5% 33.5% 33.4% 31.3% 31.8% 27.6% 26.0% 25.4% 23.2% 23.6% 24.2% 29.1%

44.0% 40.9% 38.9% 38.3% 34.9% 34.5% 32.7% 32.5% 28.4% 27.6% 26.6% 24.9% 24.8% 24.9% 30.2%

44.7% 41.4% 39.4% 38.8% 35.7% 35.2% 33.3% 32.9% 28.9% 28.6% 27.3% 26.0% 25.7% 25.4% 30.9%

45.1% 41.7% 39.9% 39.2% 36.3% 35.8% 33.9% 33.2% 29.5% 29.4% 28.1% 26.9% 26.5% 25.9% 31.5%

Lives Enhanced through Tissue Donation* Bayonne Medical Center Bayshore Community Hospital Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell Capital Health Regional Medical Center Care One at Trinitas CentraState Medical Center Chilton Hospital Christ Hospital Clara Maass Medical Center Community Medical Center Compassionate Care Hospice Cooper University Hospital East Orange General Hospital Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Hackensack University Medical Center Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Hackettstown Regional Med. Center Hoboken University Medical Center Holy Name Hospital Hunterdon Medical Center Jersey City Medical Center Jersey Shore University Medical Center JFK Medical Center Kessler North Kimball Medical Center Kindred Hospital Rahway Meadowlands Hospital and Medical Center Monmouth County Medical Examiner Monmouth Medical Center Morris County Medical Examiner Morristown Medical Center Mountainside Hospital Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Newton Medical Center Ocean County Medical Examiner Ocean Medical Center Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center Overlook Medical Center Palisades Medical Center Raritan Bay Medical Center Old Bridge Raritan Bay Medical Center Perth Amboy Regional Medical Examiner Riverview Medical Center Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway Saint Barnabas Medical Center Saint Clare’s Hospital Denville Saint Clare’s Hospital Dover Saint Clare’s Hospital Sussex Select Specialty Hospital Northeast NJ Somerset Medical Center St. Francis Medical Center St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital St. Luke’s Warren Hospital St. Marys Hospital St. Michael’s Medical Center St. Peter’s University Hospital The Valley Hospital Trinitas Regional Medical Center University Hospital University Medical Center Princeton at Plainsboro VA New Jersey Heath Care System - East Orange Vandermay Funeral Home January - September 2013 Total

326 316 370 1250 2 428 750 318 426 812 8 1076 100 280 1394 2 408 516 466 328 192 1316 1048 42 184 2 132 42 372 242 1464 280 478 136 332 176 650 1014 404 230 428 92 524 986 424 688 390 526 362 372 2 110 230 740 44 226 92 438 96 896 454 286 208 4 42 26,972

* One organ donor can save up to eight lives. It is estimated that one bone donor can help 50 people, one skin donor can help 40 people, one heart valve donor can help two people.



SOCIAL Peter Rooney, chair of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board, paid a visit to 5K Platinum Sponsor, Novartis, to present company representatives with a 5K banner and to say “thank you” for helping make the 2013 5K Walk/Race the best ever. Pictured (l-r) with Peter are Novartis Team members Katherine Fehon and Lori Ryan.

Sherri Shepherd, co-host of the ABC daytime talk show “The View,” proudly displays the power of organ and tissue donation with NJ Sharing Network volunteers (l-r) Russ Jackson and Steve Simms at a community event sponsored by the YMCA. NJ Sharing Network is partnering with the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance to raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of organ donation.

PGA TOUR player and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton (on left) gives fellow heart transplant recipient and NJ Sharing Network volunteer and a member of Team Liberty, Joe DiSanto, a few pointers at a youth golf clinic at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. NJ Sharing Network teamed up with Compton to host a golf clinic for transplant recipients to help spread the word about the importance of donor designation.

NJ Sharing Network was excited to support the Plainfield Dairy Queen’s “Christmas in July” bicycle giveaway program. Pictured (l-r) at the event are: Plainfield Fire Chief Frank R. Towell, Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, Donna Albanese-DeMair; owner of the Plainfield Dairy Queen and a member of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board, and Alida Sandoval, events and communications coordinator for NJ Sharing Network.

Linda and Dennis Dayback, posing in front of one of the 29 “Quilts of Love,” visited NJ Sharing Network to share their daughter Courtney’s personal story. Courtney passed away in 2008. Her gift of organ donation saved seven lives. The Dayback family honors Courtney’s memory each year at the 5K as part of “Team Courtney,” one of our top fundraising 5K teams.


Jackie Lue Raia (pictured in red), assistant director of resource development at NJ Sharing Network, visited members of the Tzu Chi International Medical Association to discuss ways the two groups can collaborate to promote organ donation awareness.

Katty and Angel Mercado (pictured in middle) visited NJ Sharing Network headquarters and shared the moving story of their six-week-old daughter, Melissa, who gave the life-saving gift of organ donation. The couple was joined by family and friends who are part of Team Butterfly, formed to honor Melissa’s memory at our 5K Walk/Race.

School nurses in the Clifton Public School District enjoyed speaking with NJ Sharing Network about the importance of organ and tissue donation during the district’s professional education day.

Along with her family, Patti Jackson, pictured holding her daughter, Parker, honors the memory of her other daughter, Zoe, whose donated organs saved three lives. Smiling with Patti is her mother, Patricia Jackson, and grandmother, Elsie Baskerville.

NJ Sharing Network and the New Jersey State Bar Association have begun a partnership to support organ and tissue donation. Lawyers from around New Jersey gathered at NJ Sharing Network headquarters in October to network and view the state-of-the-art laboratory, as well as exhibits celebrating the legacy and generosity of donors.

The popular “Donate Life Around The World” series featured Helen LaCarrubba, senior specialist at NJ Sharing Network, and her furry four-legged friend, a llama, displaying the power of organ donation at scenic Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Tracie Jean Francois (on left), a student at Eastwick College who received the gift of sight from a corneal transplant, and Michele Dabal, a liver transplant recipient and NJ Sharing Network volunteer, shared their personal connection to organ donation and transplantation with students at Eastwick College.

NJ Sharing Network had a blast talking with Steve Adubato (pictured in middle), host of the award-winning “Caucus: New Jersey” show, about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation. Pictured (seated, left to right) are: John Longo, a donor family member, and E. Denise Peoples, a double lung transplant recipient. Standing is Dorothea Duffy, who is waiting for a kidney transplant, and Jay Arisso, Jr., manager of family services at NJ Sharing Network.

To see more pictures from our events, please visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.



For Dorothea (Dede) Duffy, “The Call” could come today. Or tomorrow. Or next month. Or maybe next year. Her life is a waiting game. Three times each week she sits in a large hospital chair, for several hours, while blood removed from her body is sent to a dialysis machine and then returned to her bloodstream. The process is keeping her alive as she waits for a kidney transplant and the chance for a new life. But she has not lost hope that she will receive “The Call.” “I don't believe that for the rest of my life I will be on dialysis,” the Lincoln Park woman


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said. “I do believe someday I will finally get a kidney and things will change.” Dorothea is among the 4,054 people living in New Jersey waiting for a kidney, according to the latest federal data. The stakes are enormous. The average wait is five to seven years, while the average life expectancy for a person on kidney dialysis is just five to six years. Dorothea never imagined she would find herself waiting for an organ transplant. In early January, 2010, she was exceedingly healthy and worked as a graphic design manager for a major pharmaceutical company. Then, she and her entire team were laid off when most of the company was relocated and restructured.

Two weeks later, Dorothea woke up with unbearable pain in her shoulders and arms. It was the beginning. After being tested for numerous diseases; her physicians confirmed that her kidneys were failing. She was eventually diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis, an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of blood vessels and often leads to renal failure. She remained hospitalized for more than a month and left so sick she needed to learn to walk again. Today dialysis is part of her routine. “Your whole life revolves around those three appointments each week. It is very important that you are on time. Everything must be

Healing W A I T, H O P E ,

Two Women and the Journey They Share on schedule because if you are late the next person will start late,” she explained. “I am very careful with my diet and levels of potassium, phosphorus, protein, and limited daily fluid intake. If a kidney becomes available, you must be in good health or you won't get the organ,” noted Dorothea. Her positive attitude, as well as the support of friends and family, keeps her hopes high even as the months and years have passed. She stays busy, occasionally traveling (arranging dialysis at other facilities) and volunteers through her church and other organizations to help others. A team of family and friends has been an incredible support network, joining her at the past

three NJ Sharing Network 5K fundraisers as part of Team Dorothea. Recently, Dorothea met at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston with Dr. Stuart R. Geffner, a transplant surgeon, and Gwendolyn Anderson, a Newark woman who received a kidney nearly four years ago. “Never, ever give up!” Gwendolyn said to Dorothea as the two walked in the gardens outside the hospital. “If I gave up, I wouldn’t be here today. You have to keep yourself healthy. Don't lose hope!” Dr. Geffner, also in the gardens that afternoon, agreed. Each year, Saint Barnabas Medical Center performs more than 300 kidney

transplants — half of them from living donors — making it one of the busiest kidney transplant centers in the nation. Yet more than 1,000 people remain on the medical center’s transplant waiting list at Saint Barnabas alone. Dr. Geffner said he must balance the reality of the statistics with efforts to keep patients healthy and hopeful. “I tell my patients, ‘I have every reason to believe you will get a transplant at some point’,” Dr. Geffner said. “I tell them it is important to stay positive.” Dr. Geffner referred to NJ Sharing Network as a partner critical to the efforts to save lives through organ transplants. www.NJSharingNetwork.org



The latest number of people in New Jersey waiting for a kidney transplant New Jersey Transplant Centers Hackensack University Medical Center (kidney, pancreas and kidney/ pancreas transplants) (201) 996-2000 Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (kidney, pancreas, lung and heart transplants) (973) 926-7000 Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden (kidney, liver, pancreas and kidney/pancreas transplants) (609) 757-3500

In another partnership with NJ Sharing Network and Saint Barnabas, Dr. Geffner broadcasts living kidney transplants, on closed circuit television, to science students at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. Dr. Geffner exudes enthusiasm as he discusses the unique program. “The students at the science center see exactly what I see. They have a direct link to the surgery. They see that we really save lives,” he said, adding he uses the opportunity to let the students know about the critical need for organ and tissue donation.

One of the transplants Dr. Geffner per-


“What day was it?” Dr. Geffner asked, wondering about the weekend attire. (It was a Sunday.) “It was January 24, 2010,” Gwendolyn quickly replied. “Ever since then I think of you every day. I think of you every day and I think of Jackie every day,” she said. Jackie is Jacqueline Lue Raia, whose mother Ena Lue became the organ donor who

positive. ”

I tell them it is important to stay

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formed gave Gwendolyn a second chance at life. “Oh, I remember that day he came to my room and he was very handsome and he was wearing a sweatshirt and sneakers,” Gwendolyn recalled.

Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center, New Brunswick (kidney, pancreas, kidney/pancreas and heart transplants) (732) 828-3000 Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston (kidney, pancreas and kidney/ pancreas transplants) (973) 322-5000 University Hospital, Newark (liver transplants) (973) 972-4300

gave Gwendolyn her much-needed kidney. Jackie, so moved by the knowledge that her mother's generosity saved two lives, now works for NJ Sharing Network as assistant director of resource development. Jackie and Gwendolyn have since developed a special bond. Walking in the gardens, Dorothea told Gwendolyn that she celebrates each person who receives the organ they need. Their stories help her stay optimistic. Gwendolyn listened and then gently took Dorothea’s hand, providing comfort and hope for the future, as they walked together. ■

Matchmaking for


Lab Continues to Break New Ground


It’s 9:30 a.m. on a typical morning at NJ Sharing Network’s Transplant Laboratory. The team is intently processing blood samples of New Jersey residents in dire need of organ and tissue transplants. The lab staff is quietly and without fanfare consumed with making immunological matches between donors and potential recipients. The lab is looking at specific markers in blood samples, known as human leucocyte antigens (HLA). These are protein molecules that determine tissue compatibility for organ transplantation. The more HLA molecules that two people share, the more they are considered a good match and the better the chance that the recipient’s immune system will accept the new organ. Many roadblocks exist to making the right match. Often when a person is waiting for a lifesaving organ, he or she undergoes blood transfusions and other immunological stimuli. These can give rise to HLA antibodies that, if not evaluated and managed, seriously hinder transplantation. “Our job is to make sure whatever donor organ becomes available does not have HLA antigens that react with the antibodies in the recipient,” explained Dr. Prakash Rao, Vice President, Laboratory and Research Operations at NJ Sharing Network. “We put together the donor and the recipient; basically we are eHarmonyTM for transplantation,” Dr. Rao said. “We are the final arbiters for life-saving transplantation. It is here – through the work of the lab – that the life-saving transplant gets the final ‘yea’ or ‘nay’.”

Dr. Prakash Rao (on left), head of NJ Sharing Network’s state-of-the-art lab, with senior specialists Helen LaCarrubba and Dennis Miguel.

The team must have the most accurate information possible; a large television screen hangs on the lab wall, displaying a list of some 20 potential donors who are current patients at New Jersey hospitals. Their progress is closely reviewed. There is a close relationship between hospitals and NJ Sharing Network. When there is the possibility that organs may become available, a phone call is quickly made and assessments begin. Today, like all other days, has seen constant communication between laboratory staff, transplant coordinators and the medical teams. The lab operates non-stop throughout the year, 24 hours a day. Staff members rely on detailed and complex procedures that take six to eight months to master. The latest technologies are continually implemented, maximizing efficiency in the shortest amount of time. Organs can last without oxygen for only so long. Lungs and hearts must be transplanted within four hours of removal from the donor. Kidneys can be transplanted several hours later, allowing for more precise and hands-on studies of potential matches. But Dr. Rao says speed remains the critical factor in ensuring valuable organs aren’t damaged by lack of oxygen. Dr. Rao oversees a lab of 32 transplant experts, who swiftly manipulate some of the latest gadgetry available to ascertain matches, while efficiently moving from one task to the next. The team designed the 7,000-square-foot facility in 2009 to accommodate state-of-the-art systems, groundbreaking research and industry-

setting agility that can secure a match in less time than most other labs in the world. It is a life-and-death business, Dr. Rao notes, pointing to his desktop computer screen that shows 120,140 people that morning on the national waiting list for a life-saving organ. “There is a significant donor shortage in this country. Perhaps it is cultural, perhaps it is socio-economic, perhaps it is because of a lack of education,” he said. “But there are many sick people in America desperate for a transplant.” With such a great need for organs, a growing number of transplant centers are moving toward living donors of kidneys. Dr. Rao said his lab has to work quickly to ascertain an immunological match between recipients and living donors.

The Ongoing Battle Against Antibodies Lab staff members spend their days conducting “antibody audits” to learn to what degree patients have become sensitized with antibodies from various sources of blood and other immunologic stimuli. The lab is currently working with about 3,000 patients waiting for organs; about 1,800 patient files are worked on each month. Patients’ blood is taken once a month for antibody testing. The lab is able to gauge and measure how antibodies wax and wane in the blood, creating a roadmap for the lab personnel and transplant team when it becomes time to secure a match. www.NJSharingNetwork.org


Dr. Rao said the lab conducts about 170 tests a day for HLA typing, for antibodies, for cross matches and for blood group testing. He said the lab has a staff retention rate of 85-90 percent, with many long-term employees who know his system and high expectations.

audits, rather than physical analysis of the donor’s blood, doctors can make an educated guess if there will be a good match between a recipient and a donor for hearts and lungs during the four-hour window. These results are always confirmed with a cross-match following transplantation. For kidneys, the lab has up to 24 hours to make a match and coordinate a transplant. It is a tremendous luxury to have the time to be able to do physical crossmatching at NJ Sharing Network’s lab. Because of time constraints, crossmatches for liver, heart and lung transplants are performed retrospectively, as soon as possible following the transplant. “We take the donor cells, which have their own HLA profiles, and we take the recipient’s blood, which may or may not have antibodies, and we have them sit together for four hours,” Dr. Rao said. “From there, we can tell if there is compatibility.”

Prakash Rao, PhD, MBA, FACHE, HCLD Vice President, Laboratory and Research Operations

Sometimes, the lab makes unlikely transplants happen. In the last three years, Dr. Rao said, his lab has been able to facilitate about 50 transplants of highly sensitized people, who were likely sensitized through blood transfusions, pregnancies, infections or prior transplants. At another lab, where the technology is likely limited, and the expertise not evident, these transplants might not have happened. “But we are not the big heroes in this story,” Dr. Rao said. “It is the donors and the donor families who have the courage to have their loved ones’ organs and tissue live in someone else. There are not enough words in the English language to voice our respect for these individuals.” Dr. Rao said all information from the lab is shared with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the private, non-profit organization that manages the U.S. organ transplant system and the online database that collects, stores and analyzes all data pertaining to patient waiting lists, organ matching and transplants. UNOS makes the determination about where organs will be sent. The NJ Sharing Network transplant lab also shares the HLA profiles with transplant teams to conduct virtual cross-matches when time does not allow for full lab analysis. From information gleaned during the lab’s antibody


“If antibodies present in a patient’s blood are not conducive to a successful transplant, we get a positive cross match,” he said. “In this case, a negative cross match is what we want, meaning that even if the recipient has antibodies, the transplant can happen with minimal risk.” The lab has become so highly sophisticated that it can facilitate a transplant even with a positive cross match. Studying the antibody profiles, the team can suggest the right medication to control the immune response and make it possible for a body to accept the organ.

Groundbreaking Research Another key component of the lab is research, in efforts to make the process more efficient and to save more lives. Dr. Rao said his lab has reached a landmark moment: applying for a patent that will reduce the amount of time required to do a cross-match. Funding for the research initiative to obtain the preliminary data for the patent application was provided by the NJ Sharing Network Foundation. NJ Sharing Network promises to have its cross-matching completed for kidneys and livers within eight hours, but typically has the test results available within 5½ hours. Dr. Rao said a procedure being patented shaves another 90 minutes off cross-matching, adding he believes the lab can ultimately have the results within 3½ hours under the new patented procedure.

“If we can succeed, we can shrink the time window to the point where we can theoretically do prospective cross-matches for livers, hearts and lungs, rather than relying on virtual cross matches,” Dr. Rao said. “This would greatly minimize the amount of rejection.” In other research, the lab is looking at ways to increase kidney donation. Dr. Rao said that 18 percent of donated kidneys are not being used for a variety of reasons. The lab is now exploring specific beacons, or markers, within the cells of a kidney to predict if it has been injured during the preservation process and would likely fail if transplanted. From there, steps can be taken to save the organ. “The percentage of kidneys not being used would be a thing of the past if we can get these markers functioning,” Dr. Rao said. “We would be able to predict the state of the donor organ’s pathology very early into the process. It would be a heads-up to avoid primary non-function and ultimate rejection.” Another project at the lab focuses on sensitization and creation of new antibodies. Dr. Rao pointed to six genes that appear to foretell if a patient is likely to develop antibodies quickly. The lab would like to take advantage of these genes, using the information to inform transplant surgeons if a patient has a higher chance of organ rejection. “If the transplant surgeons know there is a greater chance the patient may be sensitized quickly, they can begin the prevention process quickly,” Dr. Rao said. “If you do preemptive desensitization, a kidney patient may get quickly transplanted and not need to be on dialysis.” Dr. Rao said there is enough data to support the six-gene program, and he is looking to collaborate with others in the transplant community to make it a standard practice, as part of personalized transplant medicine. “We work in a field of mines that can’t be removed,” Dr. Rao said. “My team’s job is to guide the transplant physician through the minefield. But when you have an accepted fact that 90 percent or more of the organs will not have an identical match, we need to anticipate the mines whenever possible to save lives. “My team is incredible; they guide these folks through an extremely complex field, using knowledge and expertise to make a successful transplant happen,” he added. “I am extremely proud of what we have built at NJ Sharing Network.” ■

EVENT COMMITTEE Lenore C. Ford, Co-Chair Lisa Meyers, Co-Chair Alida Sandoval, Event Coordinator

Donna Albanese-DeMair Alberta D’Addio Elisse E. Glennon Philip S. Kolm

Barry Newman Peter Rooney Joseph S. Roth

More photos from the Golf & Tennis Classic can be found at www.NJSharingNetwork.org. 13

2013 ANNUAL FUND In Memory of Michael Abt Mrs. Helen Abt In Support of Donna Albanese Stuart and Randi Geffner In Memory of Mervin R. Baxter Ms. Natalie Lubinsky In Memory of Steve Ben’Ary Glen and Mimi Brown Mrs. Mary Brown In Memory of Brian Bernstein Michael A. Giuliano, MD In Memory of George Bodin Helen and Arthur Collard Mrs. Helen A. Collard From the Ridgewood High School Science Department Cornel and Catherine Diaconu Ms. Alice Fisher Taryn Fisher Gregory and Maria Gusetelu Eric and Meredith Joseph Ms. Elizabeth Karan Dennis and Bette Karoly Marie Kashammer New York Medical College Ms. Jean P. Noon Mr. and Mrs. James K. Schaefer In Memory of Robin Bogush Anonymous In Memory of Michael Braun Ms. Mary Cronan In Memory of Evelyn Buddle Mr. Steve Cissell Ms. Amy Beth Dambeck Mr. and Mrs. Marty Dambeck Dr. Michael Dambeck Mrs. Suzanne J. Dambeck Mrs. Sharon Kubu Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Petrosini Ms. Michele Pianezza In Memory of Michael Buro Peter and Mary Diehl Mrs. Ronni Leo Mr. Rich Meyer In Memory of Joe Busichio Mrs. Tara De Angelis In Memory of Garrett Buttel Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred A. Billinghurst, Jr. Ms. Rosemarie Hampp In Memory of Nicole Caruso Frank and Evelyn Ross In Memory of Elizabeth Casey Ms. Eve Casey Ms. Phyllis Casey Mr. Stephen Forte Donald Seath Ms. Trisha Seath Rita D. Solimene Ronald and Betty Spilman Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Vitovitch In Honor of Walter Cockcroft Mr. and Mrs. John Hilpert Joseph and Dorothy Kerr In Memory of Kenneth Cohen Angus and Mary Stuart Gephart In Memory of David William Compton Ms. A. Sandra Abramson Lisa and Rodney Bayard Mr. Daniel C. Bigelow Elaine and Alan Braslow

Ms. Kathleen Burt Audrey N. Cannon with McKean Defense Group Amy S. Chernela with McKean Defense Group Mr. Francis J. Cifone Neil Cohen and Debie Weissbach Ms. Suzanne Cole Mr. Bruce Compton and Ms. Mary Anne Hines Maureen and William Compton Melissa E. Csontos with McKean Defense Group Ms. Maria P. De Masi Mrs. Eileen M. Duffey Robert H. Fink Family Fund Richard E. Fini with McKean Defense Group Richard and Linda Fitch Mr. Andrew A. Gaano Gerry and Pat Geistler Joyce Gravina and Jerry Williams S. Kado with McKean Defense Group Ms. Pamela Keeting Ms. Carole A. Kelley Dan and Debbie Kitz Mark and Cheryl Lackovic The Mahoney Family Tom and Ann McCarthy Kenneth and Wanda McJlvaine McKean Defense Group The Pew Charitable Trust Bill Rush and Geraldine Pirollo Hank and Ellen Renard Ms. Mariangela Rush Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Sadow Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Sekula Marc and Maribeth Sheridan Ms. Bernadene Strager Maurin B. Walchak with McKean Defense Group The Wennbergs Jerry Williams and Joyce Gravina In Memory of Ronald Conboy Ms. Adrienne Compa In Memory of John C. Consolagio Mrs. Irene Consolagio In Memory of Richard DeFilippis Ms. Kathleen G. DeFilippis In Memory of Frank P. Dell’Aquila, MD Mrs. Geraldine A. Dell’Aquila Dr. Frank P. Dell’Aquila In Memory of Judi Melillo-Dethloff Mary and Frank Melillo In Memory of Robbie Dillon Mrs. Corinne F. Dillon In Memory of Seymour DipkIn Debby and Elliott Bardavid Mrs. Debbie Prince Mitchel and Debbie Prince In Memory of William M. Donnelly Ms. Linda Ialacci In Memory of Brian Dotson Pat and Jack Dotson In Memory of Brandon Dowler Ms. Robynne Adoff Ms. Cindy Bornstein Ms. Jillian E. Casamo Family and Friends of Brandon Dowler Ms. Christina Ferrentino

Cheryl and Stephen Gaudette Mr. and Mrs. David Greenstein Ms. Michelle A. Kwintner Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Linderman Mr. Matthew Longobardi Ms. Carole Melrose Mr. Michael P. O’Connor Dino and Janet Robusto Mrs. Janet Robusto Mr. Geovanni Rocha J. and Ms. Ashley M. Schramm Ms. Michelle Shen Ms. Marcy Spiegelman Ms. Cynthia Valentine Ms. Gina Venticinque In Memory of Kenneth E. Elslager Thomas and Susan Cuozzo Mr. Walter Elms Michael and Joan Fasano Freehold Sting Blue Soccer Team Pasquale and Carmela Graziano Harris, Hardy & Johnstone, P.C. Certified Public Accountants Joe and Arline Lombardi Ms. Lydia E. Miranda Mrs. Susan Ormsby-Cuozzo Mr. and Mrs. James Petto Ms. Phyllis Shaw Trollbeads United States Operating Account Robert and Donna Zeoli In Memory of Ryan A. Engelke Mr. William Ryan In Memory of Giuseppe Esposito Ms. Jennifer Manheim In Honor of Matt Felix Nancy and Mark Felix In Memory of Michael Storm Fischer The Fischer Family Charles and Patricia Kerschner Marie E. Loeper The Millers Pennsylvania College of Technology Ms. Nancy L. Smith Andrea and Thomas Smith Thomson Reuter Matching Gifts Program Lauren and Eric Turgeon In Memory of Jenny Forte Mr. and Mrs. James G. Scala In Memory of Kellyan Freda Mr. Anthony DeSantis Mr. and Mrs. Chris Donnelly In Memory of James H. Friar Mrs. Jane Derickson-Friar James H. Friar In Memory of Gary Gallagher Ms. Dianne Conley In Memory of Antonio Gasparro Ms. Terri B. Berlin Mr. Siddharth Dand Mr. and Mrs. Robert D’Angelo Thomas and Tiffany Fields and Family James and Eva Hughes Mr. Michael Keeter Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kurivchack Ms. Denise Patrick John and Christine Pinnero Steven and Frances Swink Ms. Abbe Szanger

The Sunshine Committee of the Midland School Frank and Carmella Vowinkel In Memory of Jamie Geib Ms. Barbara Hutter In Memory of Randall Marc Giles Anonymous In Memory of Robert Goarcke Mr. Carl J. Goarcke In Memory of Willy Gorbey Ms. Krista Yost In Memory of Virginia Gottlieb Ms. Micaela Acker Joseph and Bonnie Braun Ms. Claire Cerame Ms. Cecelia Donovan Mr. Francis X. Donovan, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Donovan F29 Lighthouse Driverank Accarrino Ms. Marie R. Hanna James and Kathleen Hansen Ms. Rosemarie Herold Mr. and Mrs. Amir Lauber Lighthouse Bay Recreation Association Ms. Kathleen McConnell Michael and MaryEllen Mehler Middletown Police Dept Records Bureau Ms. Catherine A. Saproni Sisters of Saint Joseph Queen of Peace Convent Kenneth and Barbara Tobin Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wack In Memory of Justin Grant Mr. Brian McCarthy In Memory of Christopher Hendershot Distributed Technical Svcs, Rutgers University Libraries Mr. and Mrs. Raymond L. Hitchner In Memory of Jane Hillier Mr. George Hillier In Memory of Louise and Tom Hoffman Ms. Louise Murray In Memory of Thomas S. Iozia Mr. and Mrs. William E. Merson, III

In Memory of Andrew Jova William and Judith Propert In Memory of Lisa LaBella-Kelly Mr. Robert Bash Dr. Gary Berman Mr. Vinnie Capadanno Ms. Mary Gee Mario and Kelly LaBella and Family Mario and Sandra Labella Mr. Cesare Mondello Mr. Michael Mondello In Memory of Brian Kern Mr. Daniel Kern In Memory of Brian Koller Ms. Nora Koller In Memory of David Kornas David Kornas Mrs. Kathleen Kornas In Honor of Alice Kramer Ms. Patricia Dimaio In Memory of Lois Kucker Ms. Amanda Lawless In Memory of Jonathon Kuzminski Mr. and Mrs. Frank Latoracca In Memory of Evan Charles Laible Mr. and Mrs. Charles Catalano Mrs. Mae Catalano Ms. Christine Gagen The Laible Family Dominique, Natalia and Elaina Voitek In Memory of Robert Lamont Mrs. Linda Burkert Linda and Roger Burkert Ms. Michelle L. Dudas and Ms. Bonnie L. Horner Ms. Cynthia L. Galager Ms. Donna L. Marsh Ms. Jane Pratt Mrs. Carol Spisak In Memory of Holly Beth Larsen Ms. Patricia Breen Ms. Alyssa N. D’Addio Mary Ann and John Daudt Mrs. Carol Erickson Neil and Carol Erickson Ms. Margaret Fallon Ms. Palma M. Genovese Ms. Nancy Greenblatt

Honoring those who gave, paying tribute to those who received, offering hope to those who continue to wait, and remembering 14

FALL 2013

We graciously acknowledge gifts made to the NJ Sharing Network Foundation’s Annual Fund, January 1 – June 30, 2013 Individual gifts made through our fundraising events are acknowledged online throughout the year. We sincerely regret any errors or omissions.

James and Margaret Holt Basil and Jane Kio Mr. Bart Krusman and Ms. Trisha J. Krusman Ms. Ruth Larsen Mr. and Mrs. Peter Leone Ms. Mary E. McGlynn Mr. Arthur Mortensen Ms. Ann Marie Napoolitan Mr. John L. O’Meally Ms. Christine Pomeranz Mr. David Rankert Ms. RoseMarie Rossi Ms. Janet Sharlun Beverly Solochek Ms. Arlene Trunzo Josephine Vargas Dr. Daniel Wilhoft Mr. John P. Wolff In Memory of Rebecca “Becky” Larsen Ms. Patricia Breen Ms. Palma M. Genovese Mr. Bart Krusman and Ms. Trisha J. Krusman Ms. Janet Sharlun In Honor of Harris Leventhal Dr. Rachel Leventhal-Weiner In Memory of Chuck Levy Frank and Cathy Hardalo In Memory of Velma Landers Lindsey Ms. Elaine Kissil In Honor of Mark Lubeck Bob and Robin Rabinowitz In Memory of Dr. Robert Mandell Mrs. Susan Mandell Oppenheim Plastics Company,Inc In Memory of Mark J. Marrocco Mr. Edward S. Pericoloso In Honor of Laura Marrolli Burlington County School Nurse Assoc. In Memory of Arturo Marrufo Mrs. Anne Cohen Anne and Barry Cohen Ms. Ellen Essig Joseph and Debra Fleming Robert and Margaret Helm Ms. Samantha Johnston George and Trudy Mazin Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Pelchovitz Dr. Jordan Pelchovitz DDS Ms. Nancy Polow and Ms. Lisa Gross Michael and Lillian Rothenhaus Mrs. Brett Stern T.J. Martell Foundation Ms. Heidi Witschi In Memory of Roseann McClure Mr. Kevin Mulqueen New York Life Insurance Company In Memory of Clyde McCouch Bob and Jayne Sharpless In Memory of Stanley McGinley Ms. Theresa M. McGinley In Memory of Keith McLaughlin Mrs. Mary P. McLaughlin In Memory of Michael “Mick” Meritz Alliance Bernstein Mr. Christopher LaFontaine

In Memory of Madeline “Maddie” Midwinter Ms. Michele Bornstein Ms. Stephanie Carlson Eleanor and Richard Haugh Mr. Kalle Houseman Bev and Fred Koblentz Ms. Elizabeth Lovejoy In Memory of Maryann Montano Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Longo Mrs. Terry Longo In Honor of Ben Nachsin Mr. Jonas Nachsin In Memory of Terence Neilan Mr. and Mrs. James G. Scala In Memory of Miklos Nemeth Mr. Thomas McConnell In Memory of Betsy Niles Mr. Nicholas Ascheim ExxonMobil Foundation Sarnowski Family Foundation In Memory of Shaun T. O'Brien The Durand Family The Kuczmarski Family In Memory of Thomas “Tommy” O’Neill Mr. Larry Cohen Larry and Judy Cohen Foundation, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Bob McCarthy Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Nestler Mrs. Sally E. O’Neill Tom P. O’Neill In Memory of Jeff Orr Mrs. Virginia Orr In Support of E. Denise Peoples Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Plotkin In Memory of Lucille Pepe Ms. Anna Alicea CA Technologies Matching Gifts Program Ms. Deborah Collins Ms. Gloria Corcione Mrs. Beth Crimmins Ms. Louise Rozaieski Deborah Collins and Salvatore Staiano Mr. and Mrs. Adam Yenish In Memory of Roberto DeJesus Perez Ms. Frances D. Guardascione Mr. and Mrs. Max Lado In Memory of Jerri Rand Mr. Jules Rand In Memory of Dr. Fortunata Raniero Mr. and Mrs. James G. Scala In Honor of William Reitsma Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey In Memory of Maria Rey de Ambros Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Ambros In Memory of Anthony Rizzo Anonymous In Memory of Robert Roettger Ms. Carol A. Roettger In Memory of Arlene Rosenfeld Mrs. Camille Marino Mr. and Mrs. Dominick Marino

In Honor of Joseph S. Roth Alan and Gaye Feinberg Frank Garcia Ms. Kimberly Hanna Mr. Frederick Hepper Sandy and Arleen Lipsman Anonymous Mr. and Mrs. Steven Roth Dr. and Mrs. Jay Sklower Ms. Helen Van Ness Dr. and Mrs. Herman Waldman In Memory of Nicos Savva Ms. Barbara Uriarte In Memory of Kimberly Marie Schaffran Mr. Emanuel Asmar Mrs. Susan Carboni Ms. Nicole Colombino Rotuba Extruders,InC Ms. Frances Franco Mrs. Elise Goldbat Mr. and Mrs. David Healy Mr. Steven Hirsh Ms. Susan Largman Ms. Anna Lascurain Mr. Kenneth L. MacRitchie Mr. James J. Maglione Ms. Janet Mahoney Ms. Angela McWilliams Mr. Ralph Murat National Metal Finishings Corp., Inc. Angela Zappia In Memory of Danielle Schrenk A.G. Development and Marine, LLC. Frank and Jennifer Cinelli Mrs. Jennifer Cinelli Ms. Donna M. Doremus Blanche and Paula Ellis Ironclad Services, Inc. Jeresy Shore Recycling LLC Carol Jones, o/b/o LAPO Mr. and Mrs. Rene Laureyns Mills Heating and Air Conditioning LLC Ocean Plumbing and Heating, Inc. Precision Auto and Motorcycle Service Mr. Robert Stanley Mrs. Cathy Staszczyk In Memory of Conor Scott Mrs. Karen Parnham In Memory of Susan Sher Ms. Amanda N. Abramo In Memory of Gerard Sigtermans Ms. Susan L. McGovern Mr. Arthur Strauss Mr. and Mrs. Fred P. Summer, Jr. In Memory of Sharon Slipek Dr. Deborah D. Fisch In Memory of Jo Anne Smith Mrs. Phyllis Crump John and Carolyn Cureton Ms. Dorothy Flynn Naomi and Owen Hinds Ms. Arlene Inglis Mrs. Claire Kissil Claire and Don Kissil Ms. Virginia M. Lyttle Ms. Dorothea McDonough Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Myers

those lives lost while waiting for

Ann and Alfred Rose Dr. and Mrs. Arthur S. Verdesca In Memory of Ryan J. Sprusansky Ms. Kathleen DeFilippis and Family In Support Of Elizabeth Stamler NYSE Euronext Mr. Thomas Sloan In Memory of Carol Sue Steadman Mr. Bruce Areman Ms. Deborah Bello Mr. and Mrs. Jim Cafone Louis and Linda Coppa Spyros and Athena Demetropoulos Mrs. Alicia deTorres Mr. and Mrs. William R. Fair Mr. Michael Ginder Mrs. Benay Irwin Mrs. Artemis Kinzer Eric and Artemis Kinzer Kathryn Miller Mr. Robert W. Montgomery Mrs. Kathleen Nagurka Mr. and Mrs. Christian Saunders Mr. Raymond Stowell Anonymous In Memory of Carol Sue Steadman TAG Worldwide USAInc Mrs. Julie Trunley Mr. and Mrs. Ron Zier In Memory of Sue Stern Mr. Jeffrey Isaacs In Memory of Robert Topchik Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Fischer Joseph and Lori Roth

In Memory of James Traister Mr. Steven Alwine Dr. and Mrs. Todd J. Cooperman Ms. Lori Fleming Ms. Irene Nordskog In Memory of Hedwig Tucker Ms. Anna H. Yanuklis In Honor of Barbara Turci Mercer County School Nurses Association In Honor of UMDNJ Liver Transplant Support Group Michael and Camellia Nazmy In Memory of Kelly Vasile Ms. Barbara Ochs In Memory of Michael Voltolina Mrs. Cheryl Press In Memory of Lenny Watson, Jr. Mrs. Lydia Watson In Memory of Leonard Watson, Sr. Mrs. Lydia Watson In Memory of Benjamin Wittich Ms. Dawn Miles In Honor of Marcia Wolf Mr. and Mrs. Richard Engman In Memory of Sylvia Wolfe Neil and Gale Barnett Emmett and Annette Gumm Ms. Janice Kirschwing Ms. Alice Osur United South County Democratic Club In Memory of Lee Michael Zerman Mr. David A. Zerman

Get Involved and Make a Life-Saving Difference You can help support our life-saving mission. Please consider the following: • Participate in our annual 5K Walk/Race and Annual Golf Classic • Become a Certified Volunteer Ambassador • Purchase an ‘Organ Donors Save Lives’ license plate at your local Motor Vehicle Agency • Register to become an organ and tissue donor at www.NJSharingNetwork.org • Enroll in an employee payroll contribution program and designate the NJ Sharing Network Foundation as your charity of choice • Request a matching gift form from your employer • Remember us in your will with a bequest • Host a fundraising event on behalf of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation • Make a tax-deductible financial contribution to the NJ Sharing Network Foundation by visiting www.NJSharingNetwork.org or by mailing your gift to NJ Sharing Network Foundation, 691 Central Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974 For more information on the above, please call or email Pam DeLuca at 908-516-5696 or pdeluca@njsharingnetwork.org.

the gift of life. www.NJSharingNetwork.org



PAID Union, NJ

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

Permit No. 931

NJ Sharing Network is a member of Community Health Charities of NJ


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 nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplantation, and is part of the national recovery system, which is in place for the more than 120,000 people on waiting lists. If you no longer wish to receive information from NJ Sharing Network, please call 908-516-5400.

Day in the Life – Katie Strusiak Katie Strusiak is quick to smile when asked about her typical day as a hospital services manager for NJ Sharing Network. Since she joined the organization as one of seven hospital services managers led by Jan Hines in May, 2012, Strusiak says, no two days have been alike. She services 15 hospitals in Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties, where she spends her days meeting with physicians, nurses and staff, educating them about the importance of organ and tissue donation. One morning she may be making a presentation to physicians before driving to various hospitals to meet

with key hospital contacts for case debriefings or to review hospital data ensuring best practices are in place. From there, she may be called to a hospital where a donation is underway, serving as a familiar, comforting face and ensuring a smooth process. “Less than one percent of the people who die in hospitals can become organ donors,” Strusiak says. “My job is to ensure that physicians and nurses are keenly aware of the rarity of this gift. If they don’t call us, a family may miss the opportunity to donate. My job, day in and day out, is to ensure they make the call.” Strusiak also looks for ways in which hospitals can honor donor families, such as hosting remembrance ceremonies or having hospitals raise “Donate Life” flags when someone has donated an organ. She also helps with special programs at individual

hospitals, such as Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where a garden adorned with the names of donors was established. Strusiak says her work with NJ Sharing Network is not a job, but a lifetime mission to connect people with life-saving organs and tissue. Her journey began Sept. 12, 2007, when she received a call at college that there was a potential match for her father, Michael, who then underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant. His donor was 19-year-old Kristen. “I was so eager to be part of NJ Sharing Network so I can spend every day of my life telling the story of Kristen and how she saved my father’s life,” Strusiak said. “She has changed me forever.”

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Circle of Life Magazine: Fall 2013  

Waiting for the Call - One woman's hope, another woman's faith A publication of NJ Sharing Network

Circle of Life Magazine: Fall 2013  

Waiting for the Call - One woman's hope, another woman's faith A publication of NJ Sharing Network