CIRCLEof LIFE A Publication of NJ Sharing Network
Fall/Winter 2018 | Volume 9 Issue 2
Love of Life A recipient meets his donor family and other touching moments from our 5K Celebration of Life
MORE INSIDE: LIVING DONATION
How one altruistic donor starts chain saving over 30 lives
NJ Sharing Network is dedicated to saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. We operate 24/7/365 with a team of highly trained and dedicated members on staff. Our Foundation is committed to increasing the number of lives saved through innovative transplant research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
NJ Sharing Network is a special place to be employed...and NJBiz agrees! Earlier this year, the business publication named our organization one of the top 25 Best Places to Work in New Jersey. The awards program recognizes and honors the state’s top employers for showing a dedication to their staff’s professional growth and quality of life. “I came here to help people. It’s not only providing healing to a grieving family, but also a new life to someone waiting,” says Michael Warren, Donation Resource Coordinator. “It’s amazing to be a big part in that process.”
Join Our Team!
NJ Sharing Network is currently seeking candidates in various roles. To learn more and apply, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Careers.
To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit:
691 Central Avenue New Providence, NJ 07974 800-742-7365 • 908-516-5400
BOARD OF TRUSTEES Howard A. Nelson, Chair Michael P. Hedden, Vice Chair Anthony L. Marchetta, Treasurer Bonnie Evans, Secretary Bruce I. Goldstein, Esq., Immediate Past Chair John Creel Edward J. Florio, Esq. Bruce Markowitz, ACHE Ciro A. Scalera *Stephanie Schwartz Nancy E. Shafer-Winter, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CPHQ Antoinette Spevetz, MD Charles G. Walker Ex-Officio Members Joseph S. Roth, President and CEO John Radomski, MD, Chief Medical Director Mark Zucker, MD, Advisory Board Chair ADVISORY BOARD Mark Zucker, MD, Chair *Donna Ciufo, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, NE-BC, CCRN Gail Clegg Roseann DiBrienza, MS, RN *Kristin Fless, MD FCCP Stuart R. Geffner, MD, MS Michael Gould, MD *Lou Jablonski Sarah E. Jensen, Esq. *Kelly Lemon James Lim, MD *Scott A. Meyer, M.D., FAANS Debra L. Morgan, MSW, LCSW Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD Trish O’Keefe, PhD, RN John S. Radomski, MD, FACS Prakash Rao, PhD, MBA, FACHE, HCLD Bruce Stroever Harry Sun, MD Dorian J. Wilson, MD FOUNDATION BOARD Philip S. Kolm, Chair Randi Geffner, Vice Chair Dan Sarnowski, Treasurer Honorable F. Michael Giles, Secretary Marla Bace, Immediate Past Chair Chris Bautista Jane Buckiewicz Patrick Buddle, MD Cheryl H. Cohen, MBA, FHFMA Victor D. DiSanto Sandy Erwin Ezequiel Garcia Laura Coti Garrett, MS, RDN Paul Jova Ron Oswick Bernard Simon Elizabeth Stamler Bhavna Tailor *New Members
Ex-Officio Members Joseph S. Roth, President and CEO Elisse E. Glennon, VP and Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Director, Foundation
For more than 20 years, I have had the honor to be a part of this incredible organization dedicated to saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. It brings great joy to have our efforts affirmed. Earlier this year, we won the bid to bring the Donate Life Transplant Games to the Meadowlands in 2020 (page 17). NJ Sharing Network was also named one of the top 25 Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJBIZ (opposite page). Our staff, inspired by our mission, always rises to the occasion and we do everything we can to ensure their well-being. They, along with our volunteers, donor families and transplant recipients who visit us and share their stories make our headquarters feel like home. Speaking of our headquarters, we are happy to announce renovations to our state-of-theart facility have been completed. Among the improvements is the expansion of the Donation Resource Center, which operates 24/7/365, directing referrals for potential organ and tissue donors (page 3). We invite you to take a tour during one of our upcoming Advocacy Nights (page 20), when we offer volunteer certification training and a chance to meet others who share your passion for our life-saving mission. Our community has grown into the tens of thousands as evidenced by the annual 5K Celebration of Life. It’s truly much more than a 5K…it’s a celebration of life! In 2018, we welcomed a record number of new teams, bringing the total team count above the 300 mark. While we have strength in numbers, we also recognize how each story is unique. Our cover story (page 8) highlights just a handful of the special moments and milestones celebrated in New Providence and Long Branch this year, including the emotional first meeting of a heart and kidney transplant recipient and his donor’s family. In this issue, we also share the incredible story of how an altruistic donor from New Jersey became the catalyst for the longest single hospital transplant chain performed in the country (page 14). This summer, Brian Glennon and the woman whose life he saved, as well as other members of the chain, met on live national television. A great organization, I believe, continuously evolves and acknowledges the commitment of its team. Join me in congratulating members of our staff now serving in new roles (page 2) as well as our new Foundation Board Chair Phil Kolm (page 12). We also welcome new members to our Governing and Advisory Boards. As I stated above, NJ Sharing Network is truly a home away from home and I’m honored to consider you a special part of my extended family.
Joseph S. Roth President and Chief Executive Officer
EDITORIAL TEAM Laura Avello, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Mara Barlow, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications Alyssa D’Addio, Director, Hospital and Community Services Jan Hines, Assistant Director, Transplant Community Relations Veronica L. Horvath, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Amanda A. Tibok, Senior Manager, Philanthropy and Foundation Programs Teresa Akersten, Writer/Editor Emily Fitterman, Graphic Designer
CORRECTIONS We would like to acknowledge two errors in the Spring/ Summer 2018 issue. In our Cover Story on page 10, the photo labeled “Team Buck” should say Jane Buckiewicz not Nancy Buddle. On the back cover, the name of our 2020 Donate Life Games partner representing the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau is Judy Ross, not Russ.
Send comments to: email@example.com. NJSharingNet work .org
INSIDE NJ SHARING NETWORK
CONGRATULATIONS! ALYSSA D’ADDIO has been promoted from her previous role in the Foundation to Director of Hospital and Community Services. In an effort to streamline relationship management, D’Addio now oversees the department focusing on a variety of programs and initiatives to provide the best support and service to the donation community, including hospital development, funeral homes, medical examiners, family services and community and public education. “Creating this new position aligns with NJ Sharing Network’s mission of ending deaths on the waiting list. Alyssa has proven success in building relationships and strategic partnerships that further our ability to save and enhance more lives,” says Carolyn Welsh, VP and Chief Clinical Officer, NJ Sharing Network. “It’s an honor and privilege to work alongside those who share the same passion and devotion to serving others and making a difference,” says Alyssa. “Together, we give families the opportunity to remember and honor their loved ones while providing hope to those waiting for a life-saving transplant.”
AMANDA A. TIBOK has been promoted to Senior Manager of Philanthropy and Foundation Programs, overseeing the day-today operations of our Foundation and volunteer programs. To contact Amanda, please call (908) 516-5649 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Line of Support
Critical Care Cares Award
At her college graduation, Destiny Rosario honored her mother, Alma, who gave the gift of life, by wearing a ring containing her ashes. Destiny also showed her appreciation to NJ Sharing Network for supporting her through her loss by inviting her family’s Transplant Coordinator, Angelique Estrellado, to the ceremony. Angelique says she encouraged Destiny to finish college. “I told her that mom was looking down from the heavens just to help her through school and life…and she did it!” With her degree in counseling, Destiny plans to help children through tough times.
Our hospital partner Monmouth Medical Center recently honored a team of Critical Care professionals for going “above and beyond” in helping to save four lives through organ donation and transplantation. Among those presented with a Critical Care Cares Award was NJ Sharing Network Hospital Services Manager, Tina Bezerra, for her “unwavering support and unsurpassed commitment.” Thank you to Tina, pictured third from left, for your dedication to honoring our donors while saving the lives of our recipients.
Good Deeds Add Up Join us in congratulating NJ Sharing Network Controller Peter C. DeSarno, CPA, who received a 2018 Volunteer Award from the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA). As a young adult, Peter’s eyesight was restored with the aid of two cornea transplants. More than 20 years later, fate brought him to the NJ Sharing Network team where he continues to pay it forward as a passionate advocate for organ and tissue donation. Peter also serves on his town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and Economic Development Committee, is an active member of the Lions Club and enjoys sharing his passion for the CPA profession with today’s youth. Kudos to Peter for his commitment to making a difference! 2
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INSIDE NJ SHARING NETWORK
Our Team Honors Baby Hope Each month, a member of the donation community is invited to speak at our staff meeting. In May, Cheryl Wolf shared the story of her newborn daughter, Hope, who passed away on February 6, 2018 after what she describes as a “beautiful 90 minutes.” Hope was able to donate her heart for research and liver cells to help bring life and healing to other hurting families. “We miss our baby girl terribly, but know her short life had great purpose,” she says. “Thank you NJ Sharing Network for honoring Hope’s life and preserving her legacy.” Cheryl is pictured holding her daughter, Abigail, along with members of our Clinical Team involved in Hope’s care.
A Warm Welcome to New Physicians James V. Guarrera, MD, FACS Program Director, Liver Transplantation Center for Advanced Liver Diseases and Transplantation, University Hospital Ronald P. Pelletier, MD Program Director, Renal & Pancreas Transplant Program, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital PLUS! Welcome back to the RWJBarnabas Health Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. The program offers increased access to single and double lung transplant and comprehensive treatment and management of chronic and complex lung disease.
EXCELLENT WORK Congratulations to NJ Sharing Network’s recovery team for receiving the MTF Biologics Award in recognition of achieving Best Practice Levels.
Building Strength We are excited to announce renovations of our headquarters are complete. Our updated work spaces will improve efficiency and provide increased support to donor families and transplant recipients. We are confident these changes will help continue the momentum we have experienced in the increased number of lives saved and enhanced through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Come see the updated Donation Resource Center and other renovations to our headquarters by joining us at an upcoming tour during Advocacy Night. To sign up, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Advocacy-Night.
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SHARING COVER STORY NEWSUPDATE
A Lasting Embrace In 2005, Michele Dabal collapsed on the floor of a hospital room and woke up to stunning news: she had suffered acute liver failure and had undergone an emergency liver transplant. For almost a decade, Michele, a longtime resident of Mendham, wondered about the organ donor who saved her life and expressed her gratitude to the donor’s loved ones through annual letters. Then, in early 2015, she heard from Becky, the only child of Carol Costa, whose selfless act gave Michele a second chance. We captured Michele and Becky’s emotional meeting, facilitated by NJ Sharing Network’s Family Services team, in the Summer 2015 issue of Circle of Life, which features them on the cover in a warm embrace. That day, Becky shared photographs and memories of her mother with Michele, and the two, who felt an
immediate bond, promised to stay in touch. At her wedding earlier this year, Becky asked Michele to join a group of guests gathering for family photos. “She considers a piece of me family, maybe all of me,” says Michele. “It was really awesome to attend Becky and Kai’s wedding.” Awesome is the perfect word to describe Michele’s journey. “I am healthier now than I was before my transplant,” she happily reports. As part of Team Liberty, a program of NJ Sharing Network, she now participates in cycling, tennis, table tennis, volleyball and basketball. She’s even been to the World Transplant Games twice! In her position as Philanthropy and Foundation Programs Coordinator, Michele is a key member of the team as NJ Sharing Network prepares to host the Donate Life Transplant Games at the Meadowlands in 2020. Among other things, she’s networking with connections made at the World Games to bring members of the global donation community to New Jersey. “I am grateful to wake up every morning and know I’m alive thanks to Carol. It’s one of those, ‘pinch me experiences,’” she says. “How many people can say they work for an organization that saved their life?”
GIRL POWER Michele has also grown close with one of her donor’s sisters, Jean Richards, far right, who shares Michele’s love of sports. They have teamed up for competitions, such as a mountain biking/running race in which the duo finished in third place.
A SPECIAL BOND Michele was honored to be a part of Becky’s wedding day. 4
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THE RIDE OF HER LIFE As the co-captain of the NJ Sharing Network Cycling Team, Michele regularly participates in long-distance cycling events, including this year’s 75-mile Gran Fondo NJ course.
IN THE COMMUNITY
Partners in Saving Lives 2018 Hospital Campaign The results for the 2018 Let Life Bloom hospital campaign are in and our partners earned a total of 42 awards. This national campaign, organized by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), recognizes hospitals for their efforts to promote organ and tissue donor registration. PLATINUM 1,000 Points
NATCO The Organization for Transplant Professionals, presented NJ Sharing Network with the 2018 award for outstanding achievement in encouraging hospital staff and community members to register as organ and tissue donors. Congratulations to our entire Hospital Services team on this accomplishment.
SHARING PERSPECTIVES NJ Sharing Network works closely with funeral home directors to assure the wish to be an organ and tissue donor can be fulfilled, while providing a meaningful funeral. This summer, more than 120 people attended our first program dedicated to funeral home professionals. Attendees were given an overview of organ and tissue donation and heard perspectives from fellow funeral home directors on their role in the donation process. Program presenters, from left, Edith Churchman, James E. Churchman Jr. Funeral Home; Bill Hepplewhite, Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home; Wendy Rothschild and Ashlee Davis, Funeral Home & Medical Examiner Liaisons, NJ Sharing Network. Thank you to participating partners: All Faiths Cremation Service, LLC. Alvarez Funeral Home Inc. Bailey Funeral Home Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel Boulevard Funeral Home and Cremation Service Buckland Funeral Home Burroughs Kohr & Dangler Homes Caggiano Memorial-Home
Bayshore Medical Center Capital Health Systems—Hopewell Capital Health Systems—Regional Chilton Medical Center Clara Maass Medical Center Community Medical Center Cooper University Health Care Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center Hackensack University Medical Center Holy Name Medical Center Hunterdon Medical Center Jersey Shore University Medical Center Monmouth Medical Center Monmouth Medical Center South Campus Morristown Medical Center Mountainside Medical Center Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Ocean Medical Center Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center Raritan Bay Medical Center—Perth Amboy Riverview Medical Center Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home Cochran Funeral Home Cotton Funeral Services Cushnie-Houston Funeral Home Damiano Funeral Home Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home D’Bari Funeral Home Inc. Dignity Funeral Trade Service Dooley Funeral Home Douglas R. Loikith Funeral Service Eastwick College Evergreen Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Service Finegan Funeral Homes, Inc. Frech Funeral Home G. G. Woody Funeral Home Gaita Memorial Home Garefino Funeral Home, Inc. Gosselin Funeral Home Halpin-Bitecola Brookdale Funeral & Cremation Service James E. Churchman, Jr. Funeral Home Jorge Rivera Funeral Home Inc. Keri Memorial Funeral Home Krowicki McCracken Funeral Home Lavarins Funeral Homes Leonard Lee Funeral Home M. John Scanlan Funeral Home
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital— Rahway Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital— Somerset Saint Barnabas Medical Center Saint Clare’s Health Saint Michael’s Medical Center St. Joseph’s University Medical Center St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center St. Luke’s Warren The Valley Hospital Trinitas Regional Medical Center GOLD 750+ Points
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Jersey City Medical Center Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital—Hamilton SILVER 350+ Points
CentraState Medical Center Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center JFK Medical Center Newton Medical Center Overlook Medical Center Saint Peter’s University Hospital
The Madonna Multinational Home for Funerals Manke Memorial Funeral & Cremation Services McCracken Funeral Home Memorial Funeral Home Menorah Chapels at Millburn Nesbitt Funeral home New Jersey State Funeral Directors’ Association Inc. Paul Ippolito-Dancy Memorial Paul Ippolito Summit Memorial Perry Funeral Home Prout Funeral Home Quackenboss Funeral Home Rossi Funeral Home Rowe Lanterman Home For Funerals Rumpf Funeral Home Smith-McCracken Funeral Home Smith Funeral Home Somerville Funeral Home Vander Platt Funeral Home The Vander Plaat Memorial Home Walter J. Johnson Funeral Home Werson Funeral Home Whitham-Kanapaux Funeral Home William J. Leber Funeral Home LLC Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home We sincerely regret any omissions.
To learn more, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Funeral-Directors.
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IN THE COMMUNITY
National Minority Donor Awareness events hosted throughout August included a Kickball-Cookout in Plainfield, a Cultural Potluck luncheon at NJ Sharing Network headquarters, a film viewing of A Question of Faith and a health screening in Newark. Did You Know? • There’s a critical need for people from diverse communities to register as organ and tissue donors. • 4,000 people in NJ are currently waiting for an organ transplant, 66% of those are minorities. • 55% of organ recipients in NJ are minorities.
JUST DO IT These events were sponsored by the Joseph D’Addio Family Fund, a program of our Foundation.
To learn more, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/NMDA.
The Ultimate Act of Charity and Love During National Donor Sabbath in November, we encourage you to partner with your faith community to spread the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation, and the role faith plays in making the decision to register as a donor.
Ways You Can Help Your Faith Community Observe
NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH
Start the Conversation Now Let your faith leader know National Donor Sabbath is approaching and you would like to share your personal experience. Or invite a transplant recipient or donor family member to speak at a faith-based event. Host Donor Registration Drives Suggest setting up a display table where you can distribute educational materials before or after services.
hare Our Life-Saving Message S Ask your congregation to include a link to www.NJSharingNetwork.org on your house of worship’s website and encourage members to follow us on social media. Educate Provide informational materials at faith services and events, and include messaging in your bulletin and newsletter.
To learn more and to download our resource kit, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Donor-Sabbath. 6
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IN THE COMMUNITY
There’s a Donate Life Group Near You
My Donation Connection Amy Keefe Sister of Organ and Tissue Donor, Transplant Coordinator, NJ Sharing Network I was working as an emergency room nurse in March 2016 when my youngest brother, Brad, had an accident at work and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I knew too well the definition of brain death as I listened to a transplant coordinator from NJ Sharing Network gently explain his wishes to be an organ and tissue donor to me and my family. Brad was a newlywed and wonderful father to two young children. He was known for making everyone laugh. As kids, we spent countless hours at the ice rink, where he played hockey and I skated. It only made sense his final act would be to become a hero by giving the gift of life. Flashback to when NJ Sharing Network did a presentation at my nursing school. As I watched videos and listened to a speaker who was a family member of an organ donor, I became emotional. That night, I went home and told my mother I wanted to someday be part of this special organization. In July 2017, with critical care experience and a personal connection to donation, I joined the team at NJ Sharing Network as a transplant coordinator. I am the person who offers the family the option of donation. During this grief-stricken time, I hold their hands and tell them I have walked in their shoes. This isn’t the end, I say, your family member will become a hero and live on like my brother. I have such an amazing job. I don’t think I’ve ever been closer with the people with whom I work— including my family’s transplant coordinator and hospital liaison. I have experience giving difficult news to families. But, here, it’s different. I also get to explain how their loved one can do something amazing. In the spring, I helped organize a benefit to raise funds and awareness for organ and tissue donation. The event, held at a favorite restaurant in Brick, helped Team Sorrentino reach its fundraising goals for the 5K Celebration of Life. It’s one of many ways our family and friends will continue to honor Brad’s legacy for years to come.
Make Your Next Minute Matter 3 ways to register as an organ and tissue donor 1. iPhone Health App with iOS 10 and above 2. Online at www.NJSharingNetwork.org 3. Visit your local Motor Vehicle Agency Saying “yes” is legal consent to the donation of your organs and tissue for transplantation and therapy. For those 18 years and older, your decision to donate cannot be revoked by anyone but you.
Throughout the state, Donate Life Regional Groups are taking action and educating their communities about organ and tissue donation. We partner with local businesses, government agencies, houses of worship, high schools, colleges, first responders, hospitals and other organizations to promote our life-saving mission. Groups also provide support by bringing together donor families, recipients, patients waiting, living donors and community advocates in your area. To view all upcoming meeting dates and locations, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Groups. NJSharingNet work .org
For the Love of Life
he 5K Celebration of Life is a community like no other for those whose lives have been touched by donation. Read about the many milestones and anniversaries celebrated this year, as well as the special moment when the mother of an organ donor met her son’s heart and kidney transplant recipient for the first time. When transplant recipient Vernell Williams attended last year’s 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence, little did he know his donor’s family was among the thousands of participants. For about a year, Vernell and the mother of his heart and kidney donor, Victor (Michael) Startek, had been attempting to contact one another through letters exchanged confidentially by NJ Sharing Network’s Family Services team. When they ultimately connected and realized they both planned to attend this year’s 5K Celebration of Life, they decided it would be the perfect time and place to meet face to face. “We all had nerves and the jitters and I was grieving,” recalls Michael’s mother, Deborah Martinez, who first met Vernell with Michael’s twin sister, Ashley, by her side. “When I heard my son’s heartbeat, I can’t even put into words the feeling I had.” 8
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TEAM PEE WEE + CHEF VICTOR UNITE Transplant recipient Vernell Williams and his family wore chef hats when walking alongside members of Chef Victor, the team which honor’s his donor, Victor Michael Startek (inset). The gesture paid tribute to Victor’s career and passion for cooking.
“Being a part of donor family and recipient meetings is the greatest privilege I have. It is incredibly emotional for both families and my goal is to create a space for families to have their special time together.” —Jacqueline Salvatore, Family Services Coordinator who facilitated the Startek-Williams meeting
GIVING THANKS Transplant recipient Vernell Williams met his donor’s mother and twin sister, Deborah Martinez and Ashley Startek, at this year’s 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence. Vernell, who had been gravely ill before receiving a dual transplant at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, was also overcome with emotions. Michael’s mother presented him with a small globe containing some of Michael’s ashes. Now he makes sure to touch it every day and say a thank you prayer for the gift of life he received. “There were tears,” he
says, “It was bittersweet.” The families have found comfort in discovering Vernell and Michael’s shared love for football. Vernell, a dedicated pee wee football coach and former semi-pro defensive end, is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan. Meanwhile, Michael played in a Pop Warner program as a kid and loved the NY Giants.
To celebrate their common bond, this fall the Starteks will go see Vernell’s team play and the families plan to attend a Giants game together. After meeting Vernell, Deborah says she felt an inner peace she hadn’t had in years. “It was really unbelievable and he turned out to be such a wonderful man, such a giver to his community and so appreciative.”
It’s Not Just a 5K…It’s a Celebration of Life Thousands of participants, hundreds of teams, each story unique WALKING SIDE BY SIDE Caitlin Nelson was a 20-year-old student at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut when she tragically passed away in April 2017. Caitlin was known for her selfless nature—inspired in part by her father, a Port Authority police officer and 9/11 hero. Her final act of kindness was to give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. Sonia Carlen was a healthy, young woman until she became ill with an unexplainable lung disease, leading her to be dependent on oxygen therapy. On April 4, 2017, Sonia was given a second chance at life when she became the recipient of Caitlin’s lungs. This year, at the 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence, Sonia and her family for the first time walked alongside Caitlin’s family and friends as part of Team Caitlin Gives, which is more than 100 members strong!
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REACHING THE FINISH The story of Jason Ray brought international attention to organ and tissue donation and it is believed some 50,000 people around the world were inspired to register as donors after his death. In 2007, the 21-year-old Tar Heels mascot for the University of North Carolina was traveling in New Jersey with the men’s basketball team when he was struck by a vehicle. Jason saved four lives and enhanced more than 100 others through the selfless act of donation. Among them was David Erving, recipient of his kidney and pancreas, who had fought diabetes for more than 25 years and had lost most of his vision. This year, David honored Jason Ray’s legacy by participating in his first 5K Celebration of Life, crossing the finish line in Long Branch.
ROBERTO’S LEGACY Roberto Perez became a hero when he became an organ donor. As a result of his parents consenting to donation, Roberto saved the lives of five men who received his heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs and liver. Heart recipient Ralph Siegel surprised Roberto’s mother, Maria Perez, at this year’s 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence. One of the many special moments: when Maria listened to her son’s heart beat as a reminder that his legacy lives on more than 20 years later.
10 YEARS AND THRIVING They’ve been married for more than halfa-century. Now Mark and Terry Meade have reached another milestone—the 10th anniversary of Mark’s life-saving heart transplant surgery. How did the inseparable couple celebrate the decade of love made possible by organ donation? They volunteered their time at the 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence and Long Branch. The Meades frequently speak at hospitals, schools and community centers, where Mark talks about the gift of life he received and Terry shares her perspective as a caregiver.
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BIG WORDS, BIGGER MISSION
A SISTER REMEMBERED The 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence took place on June 3, exactly 17 years to the day of the passing of Alpha Omega team captain Maureen Bocknack’s twin sister, Michelle. Maureen, above, participates every year in Michelle’s honor, and embraces life in every sense of the word. “I live for the life that my sister didn’t get to finish… organ donors are heroes.”
When Dhruv Nagarajan’s mother first asked him if he wanted to participate in the 5K Celebration of Life, he was 8 years old. “Organ donation and transplantation” were “big words,” he recalls. Three years later, Dhruv, whose mom is a transplant cardiologist, advocates with great passion for our life-saving mission. This year, he started his own team, recruiting family and friends to join Dhruv’s Hearts for Hope. During an inspirational interview with Steve Adubato of Caucus Educational Corporation, Dhruv said, “To all young people out there, when you get your driver’s license, tic the box to become an organ donor.” To watch all of our interviews and videos from this year’s events, visit www.YouTube.com/DonateLifeNJ.
Congratulations to 2018 Top 25 Fundraising Teams 5K Team Name
5K Team Captain
In Tribute Of
Caitlin Mary Nelson
Run for Your Life
Maeve The Brave
Heather Behan & Michele Williams
Just Do It in Celebration of Joe D'Addio
Nehal & Rishi Ramchandani
Max's Mitzvah Movers
Robert Linton Bruce, III
Jellybean's Rainbow Walks with Mickey
Lisa A. Hulbert & Mickey McCabe
Team Andrew and Caroline
Andrew Jova & Caroline Duerr
Kristin Conrad Henderson
Dr. Randall Giles
Michael Fitzpatrick's Gift
Valerie Kloss Barbour
Valerie Kloss Barbour
Team Joe Joe
$5,895 NJSharingNet work .org
RAISING FUNDS & AWARENESS
Introducing Our Newest Family Fund
Phil Kolm, new chair of our Foundation Board, believes in NJ Sharing Network’s life-saving mission with his “whole heart.” “There are plenty of organizations and lots of opportunities to get involved, but to me NJ Sharing Network is clearly number one,” Phil says.
Donor families and transplant recipients wishing to honor their loves ones and further our life-saving mission through philanthropy have created Family and Partner Funds through our Foundation. Jellybean’s Rainbow Walks with Mickey was founded by Tina McCabe to celebrate the lives of her sister and father-in-law, Lisa A. Hulbert and Mickey McCabe. Funds raised will directly provide transplant recipients and their caregivers support to ensure they continue to thrive post-transplant. Lisa, affectionately known as “Jellybean,” was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She passed away at the age of 30 while waiting for her third liver transplant. Transplantation gave Lisa 17 more years of life, which she lived to the fullest with love and positivity. In 2016, Mickey received a double lung transplant after suffering from interstitial lung disease with pulmonary fibrosis due to his rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Mickey is forever grateful for his second chance at life.
“In my eight years serving on the Foundation Board, and now as Chair, I have seen firsthand how my financial contributions and giving of my time are truly making a difference in the number of lives saved through organ and tissue donation and transplantation.” Contributions made to our Foundation help support innovative research, family support, and public awareness and education. “I have met so many incredible people, from the management, staff and volunteers to donor families and transplant recipients, who simply amaze me every day with their passion and dedication,” Phil says. “Together we are raising public awareness and bringing our message to so many more potential organ donors.” He adds, “I have no doubt how successful we will be hosting the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games at the Meadowlands thanks to the dedication and hard work of each and every member of the NJ Sharing Network family.”
Through Wrapped in Love, a program of our Foundation, donor families are honored with handmade shawls that are tangible expressions of comfort and compassion. On Knit Nights held at our headquarters, volunteers bring their current projects and collaborate with other knitters and crocheters. Or you can join us on special evenings where we package shawls and prepare them for delivery. To learn more, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/ WrappedInLove. 12
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For more information about the Jellybean’s Rainbow Walks with Mickey Fund, please visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/JellybeansRainbow.
Scholarship News Teen advocates for organ and tissue donation were awarded our Foundation’s 2018–2019 scholarships. Paige LeBlanc, a graduate of Northern Burlington County Regional High School, received the Missy’s Miracle Scholarship and is attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville this fall. Betsy Niles Scholarship recipient Zachary Roth graduated from Hillsborough High School and is attending Virginia Tech. From left: Philip S. Kolm, Chair, Foundation Board of Trustees; Amanda A. Tibok, Senior Manager, Philanthropy and Foundation Programs; Paige; Zachary; Sandy Erwin, Chair of the Programs and Initiatives Committee, representing the Missy’s Miracle Fund; and Dan Sarnowski of the Betsy Niles Scholarship Fund.
In addition to the Betsy Niles Scholarship and Missy’s Miracle Scholarship, Hearts for Emma, a partner fund of our Foundation, will be sponsoring another scholarship for the 2019–2020 school year. Eligibility requirements for all scholarships and applications are available at www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Scholarship.
Hospital Partners Recognize Those Who Gave the Gift of Life
Surrounded by Family
• C ooper University Health Care in Camden invited family members, friends and hospital staff to honor 23 recent organ and tissue donors. The ceremony included the planting of pinwheels outside the hospital in memory of those who gave the gift of life. • T he names of 20 organ and tissue donors were added to the Wall of Heroes at Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City. • T en heroes who saved and enhanced lives through organ and tissue donation were added to the Gift of Life Memorial at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. Loved ones of organ donor Cathy Morrison (Brickner) gathered at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden to meet two of her transplant recipients. Cathy was an organ donor at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton and was born at Our Lady of Lourdes, where her recipients received their life-saving transplants. Bottom, from left: Father Joseph Nguyen (liver recipient), Judy Brickner and Wayne Lecator (kidney recipient). Top, from left: CJ Kennedy, Hoa Nguyen, Father Michael Mamnion, Roxanne Caputo, Stephanie Scarpati, Mandy Brickner, Tom Miller, Wayne Lecator Jr., and Angelina Lecator.
A Hero Honored Family and friends of Dr. Randall Giles gathered at the Landscape of Life Meditation Garden on July 16 for an unveiling of a plaque in his honor. Randy was honored for being the hero he is, was, and always will be for giving the gift of life as an organ and tissue donor. The plaque also acknowledges funds raised through 5K Celebration of Life team, “Biff’s Gifts.”
Rose Parade Each year, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float brings organ and tissue donation to the attention of millions worldwide watching the New Year’s Day celebration in Pasadena, California. The 16th annual float, Rhythm of the Heart, highlights the musical diversity and rhythms of Africa. The float design integrates 44 floragraphs honoring organ and tissue donors from across the country. Sean Clegg Jim Rhatican Floragraph Honoree Liver Recipient, Float Rider Honoree Sponsored by NJ Sharing Network Carrie Ellen Fisher Floragraph Honoree Sponsored by Dignity Memorial
Emma Rothman Heart Recipient, Float Rider Honoree Sponsored by Hearts for Emma
Dr. Randall Giles Floragraph Honoree Sponsored by Bridge to Life Ltd.
Watch the 130th Rose Parade on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 11am EST. Check your local listings.
NJSharingNet work .org
It’s a Wonderful Life
Altruistic Donor Starts Chain Saving Over 30 Lives
LIFE IS GOOD for living kidney donor Brian Glennon, who continues to be healthy and active. (1) At the Donate Life Transplant Games in Salt Lake City, Brian represented Team Liberty and living kidney donors. He won seven medals, including golds in the 5K and cycling events. (2) Saint Barnabas Medical Center hosted a special reception in June for all who participated in the Brian Glennon chain. (3) “It was an incredible experience and one I will never forget,” says Brian about throwing out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game. “It was a great way to further spread the word about the importance of organ donation.” (4) Brian met his recipient, Hayley Tsai and her daughter, Jocelyn, a living kidney donor who continued the chain, on NBC Megyn Kelly Today. (5) He gathered with other living donors at the 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence.
n October 2017, at the age of 46, a father of four from Caldwell donated a kidney, not because someone he knew needed one or because someone asked him for one. Brian Glennon had come to a point in his life where he wanted to do more to help others. Donating a kidney to an unknown patient in need is what he decided to do. Through the paired-kidney donation program of The Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Brian was the catalyst for the longest single hospital kidney transplant chain performed in the United States. His kidney donation started a chain of transplant surgeries of over 30 patients living with kidney failure, saving their lives. Brian is an altruistic donor, a person who donates for no other reason than to help save a life. “I decided to donate because I reflected on my life and realized one thing I was missing was giving back and I care very deeply about organ donation,” says Brian. Saint Barnabas Medical Center is home to New Jersey’s first Living Donor Institute, a paired-kidney donation program launched almost 15 years ago. Our transplant laboratory works closely with the program to ensure 14
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compatibility between living donors and recipients. The program has revolutionized a transplant candidate’s opportunity to receive a kidney from a living donor and made living donor transplantation available to more patients than ever before. Saint Barnabas now has the largest living donor program in the United States and the third largest kidney transplant program in the country, having performed 337 kidney transplants last year, 162 of which were from living donors. According to Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD, chief of the renal transplant division at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, “Every step we’ve taken has been to build upon the solid foundation we started years ago to continually improve the program, grow the opportunities of transplant, and increase patients’ chances of survival.” Stuart R. Geffner, MD, chairman of the department of surgery and surgical director of the transplant division at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, explains how it works. “In the kidney chain, if the patient needs a transplant and has a potential donor but that donor is incompatible to them, that donor can then give to someone else.” The Brian Glennon chain, for example,
Donor Altruistic Anonymous Donor
Recipient Individual on Transplant Waiting List
(see above) started with Brian’s kidney saving the life of Hayley Tsai, whose battle with Lupus deteriorated her kidney function. Hayley’s daughter, Jocelyn, was willing to be a donor, but was not a match. So instead Jocelyn donated to another person and saved his life. His family member in turn donated to someone else, and so on, and so on. “Many people have heard about The Brian Glennon chain. My desire is that our story provides hope to all those still on the waiting list while also publicizing the need for more organ donors,” says Brian. “With living donation, I think the beauty of it is that it not only benefits the organ recipient, but it benefits the organ donor. My life feels more complete.”
3 Our Transplant Laboratory’s Impact on Living Donation From the very beginning, the NJ Sharing Network transplant laboratory has been a fervent champion for living donation, including a keynote presentation by Dr. Prakash Rao VP, Diagnostics & Research Operations, and Director of the Transplant Laboratory at a living donation symposium. The laboratory takes its role of being the final immunological gatekeeper very seriously, and its innovations have helped bring living donor transplantation in the state of New Jersey to the forefront.
Innovations include streamlining the process of immune profiling of donors and recipients, to ensure swift and safe transplants:
• A newer and improved version of the “transplant in a test tube” (cross-match) test has helped facilitate transplants where none would have been possible before. • T he invention of a testing platform that can predict immunosuppression requirements could potentially help “personalize” post-transplant therapeutics. • I mplementation of a “virtual cross-match” has helped in creating paired kidney chains.
“We believe our laboratory is the only facility at this time that can not only predict compatibility or incompatibility, but can also accurately assess the extent of the incompatibility between donor and recipient,” says Dr. Rao. Thanks to the generosity of living donors, particularly altruistic donors that have no predetermined recipient to benefit, more patients than ever are being successfully transplanted and able to celebrate the gift of life.
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Games Celebrate Life The Donate Life Transplant Games, organized by the Transplant Life Foundation, is the largest donation awareness event of its kind, honoring donors and donor families while showing the success of transplantation on a national level. The Games take place every other year with events open to organ and tissue transplant recipients, donor families and living donors.
2018 Salt Lake City More than 130 Team Liberty members and supporters representing the tri-state area traveled to Salt Lake City for the weeklong festival in August. As one of over 40 participating teams, they brought home 95 medals including 38 gold, 33 silver and 24 bronze. Congratulations to all our competitors!
JOIN TEAM LIBERTY Team Liberty, a program of NJ Sharing Network, is dedicated to promoting the success of organ transplantation, raising awareness for the urgent need of organ and tissue donation, and honoring all donors and their families who have so generously given the gift of life. Help Us Make 2020 the Best Games Ever! Calling all: Transplant Recipients Living Donors Donor Families Transplant Professionals Supporters Volunteers Activities include: Ballroom Dancing • Basketball • Bowling Cycling • Darts • Golf • Pickle Ball Swimming • Table Tennis • Track and Field Trivia • Volleyball • Workshops Tribute Ceremonies • and more!
Team Liberty is looking for new members as we gear up for the 2020 Games. To learn more or to join, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/ TGAMeadowlands2020.
LOOKING FORWARD The Salt Lake City games closed with a ceremonial passing of the baton to representatives of the Meadowlands 2020 games. Thank you to our partners pictured right (from left), Peter Hughes, Hackensack Meridian Health; Elisse Glennon, NJ Sharing Network; Jim Kirkos, Meadowlands Regional Chamber; and Christina Psathas, Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
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What happens in Jersey doesn’t just stay in Jersey. It echoes throughout the country. Now we’re welcoming our most important event ever. The 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games. New Jersey will be home to competition and triumph, honor and legacies, hope, awareness, love, laughter and life. And we’re doing it the only way we know how. Bigger, louder and bolder...because that’s just how we roll in Jersey. United by the strength of our differences. More people. More coverage. More exposure. With 8,722.58 square miles of swagger and 9,032,872 people of passion, we know how to put on a show that people won’t dare to forget. And the world will know because New Jersey will make sure it’s known. Welcome to New Jersey.
To learn more about the Donate Life Transplant Games, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/TGAMeadowlands2020.
July 17-22, 2020
Donation is the Gift of Life...and Love Granting a Final Wish Rishi Ramchandani remembers his soulmate Nehal, who received a life-saving liver transplant in 2013, as a fighter and someone who cared deeply for others. Nehal loved whales so it came as no surprise to Rishi when one of her final wishes was to take her family whale watching in Hawaii. She passed away before making the trip, but Rishi kept his promise and brought the family to Maui earlier this year. They headed into the ocean on a small boat and almost immediately came across two whales, a female and a male, playing in the water. To Rishi, the whales symbolized Nehal and their beloved dog, Toby, who had also died in the past year. He knew this was the perfect moment. “As I let her ashes enter the beautiful blue waters, you saw them move right towards the whales as they continued to linger by our boat. I believe they were telling her to, ‘Hop on and let’s go for a ride,’” says Rishi.
Mother Times Two Thanks to the gift of life, transplant recipient Kerry O’Connor received the gift of motherhood. On February 16, Kerry and her husband, Billy, welcomed a second daughter, Saoirse Meadhbh, into the world. She’s a happy baby who loves to play, cuddle, and go on adventures with her big sister and “best friend” Gracyn. “Seeing the love that both girls have for each other—and us—would not have been possible without my donor’s gift of life— my pancreas!”
To commemorate the moment, Rishi got a tattoo of a whale tale with the coordinates of where the ashes were released. Nehal and Rishi loved to travel and often posed for pictures wearing their #TeamKarma 5K Celebration of Life shirts, including in front of the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal. A heart with her name was added to the 2018 shirts and contributions to our Foundation were requested in lieu of flowers.
Love + Marriage It’s been 11 years since Michael Strusiak received a life-saving kidney and pancreas transplant. In all this time, he has never forgotten his donor, Kristen Theresa O’Hara, who gave him a second chance at life as well as the opportunity to marry the love of his life, Lisa. Michael and Lisa chose to honor Kristen by exchanging vows in the Landscape of Life Meditation Garden at NJ Sharing Network. The spring wedding was officiated by Elisse Glennon, VP and Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Director, Foundation, in a ceremony attended by Kristen’s parents, as well as members of our staff, Foundation Board members, volunteers, friends and family. In recognition of gifts made by guests to our Foundation, a butterfly engraved with Kristen’s name will be added to our Landscape of Life Wall. Join us in wishing Michael and Lisa a lifetime of happiness!
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DONATION… Have a special story you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at email@example.com.
On Our Bookshelves
Husband and Wife Make a Perfect Match “In a relationship, sometimes you have to be the captain and sometimes you have to row,” says Kathy Kelsey, who donated a kidney to her husband, Artie, in 2014. Kathy’s marriage philosophy helped her stay calm through her husband’s illness and her decision to become a living donor. It was a couple of days before Christmas in 2013 when the Kelseys received the good news that they were a match. The couple of 27 years had a quick and full recovery and have returned to the activities they love. He plays tennis and golf; she likes to bike and does yoga. Throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, Kathy shares her experiences as a living kidney donor and a caregiver, and relates the impact waiting for a transplant has on not just the patient, but the entire family. “We are the poster children for living donation around here.”
The Other Me: A Story of Two Lives Changed Forever by Judy Tabs
TOGETHER FOR LIFE Kathy Kelsey saved her husband Artie’s life through living kidney donation.
The grandmother of heart transplant recipient and NJ Sharing Network volunteer Sam Prince recently wrote a book about the power of organ and tissue donation. The Other Me tells the story of two families on different sides of organ and tissue donation and their emotional journeys. A portion of proceeds from sales of the book will be contributed to our Foundation.
Hope Blooms: Organ Donation, the Rose Parade, and Our Journey to Save Lives
by Bryan Stewart
Dating and relationships are hard enough when you are healthy. So when you meet someone who sticks by you during sickness, you know they’re the one! That’s what our volunteer Leena Sandhu experienced when she met Brett right before she became ill and needed a second kidney transplant. Leena and Brett, who love to travel, were married in September and for their honeymoon took a riverboat cruise on the Rhine River.
The Big 5-0 On June 15, 2018, Jane and Tom Brooks celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple would not have experienced this milestone if it were not for Jane receiving a life-saving heart transplant in September 2011 at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Both Jane and Tom became Certified Volunteers in 2015.
How did the Donate Life Float at the Rose Parade in Pasadena come to be? How has it contributed to dramatic increases in public awareness about organ and tissue donation? Learn about the people, events, and special moments of joy, heartbreak, and grace behind the public health campaign staged around one of the world’s most-watched New Year’s Day celebrations.
Surrender: What My Liver Transplant Taught Me about Control and Self-Acceptance by Jessica Zampieri Jessica Zampieri, a Certified Volunteer with NJ Sharing Network, received a liver transplant at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Ohio in 2011 at the age of 28. Her donor, Dustin, was just 18. Jessica couldn’t have known that she’d be confronted with the possibility of her death at such a young age, or that all the years she spent striving for physical perfection would end up undermining her wellness to such a devastating degree. All books are available on Amazon.com. NJSharingNet work .org
SAVE THE DATE
JOIN US…in our mission to save lives.
NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH
Partner with your faith community November 9–11 and all month long to share the lifesaving and healing power of organ and tissue donation. (See page 6)
A QUESTION OF FAITH Montclair Film Montclair, NJ In recognition of National Donor Sabbath, NJ Sharing Network has partnered with Montclair Film to present the feature length drama, A Question of Faith (2017) on Saturday, November 10 at 7pm. A panel discussion will follow.
HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS NJ Sharing Network Headquarters New Providence, NJ All families of organ and tissue donors are invited to attend this special program, part of a series of workshops on grief facilitated by our Family Services team. RSVP required.
DECEMBER th 10 ADVOCACY NIGHT
NJ Sharing Network Headquarters New Providence, NJ Come meet fellow members of the donation and transplantation community and receive a tour of our state-of-the-art facility. On these evenings, we also provide Volunteer Certification Training and Special Education sessions covering a variety of topics as an opportunity for our advocates to learn more and stay informed. Overview & Tour: 5–7pm Volunteer Certification Training: 7–8:30pm Special Education Session Living Donation: 6–8:30pm
To learn more and sign up, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Advocacy-Night.
To learn more, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Donor-Sabbath. 20
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SAVE THE DATE
JANUARY st 1 ROSE PARADE
Tune in on New Year’s Day to watch the 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade Float in the 130th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. (See page 13)
ADVOCACY NIGHT NJ Sharing Network Headquarters New Providence, NJ Come meet fellow members of the donation and transplantation community and receive a tour of our state-of-the-art facility. On these evenings, we also provide Volunteer Certification Training and Special Education sessions covering a variety of topics as an opportunity for our advocates to learn more and stay informed. Overview & Tour: 5–7pm Volunteer Certification Training: 7–8:30pm
SAVE THE DATE
5K CELEBRATION OF LIFE
Special Education Session Maximizing Your 5K Efforts: 6–8:30pm To learn more and sign up, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Advocacy-Night.
CERTIFIED VOLUNTEERS spread awareness in the community. NJSharingNet work .org
NONPROFIT ORG U.S. Postage
PAID Union, NJ
691 Central Avenue New Providence, NJ 07974 800-742-7365 • 908-516-5400 www.NJSharingNetwork.org
Permit No. 931
WHO WE ARE NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplantation, and is part of the national recovery system, which is in place for the 115,000 people on waiting lists. NJ Sharing Network is a designated OPO by UNOS; accredited by AOPO, ASHI, AATB and CAP; and registered with the FDA and NJ State DOH. NJ Sharing Network is a member of Community Health Charities.
If you no longer wish to receive information from NJ Sharing Network, please call 908-516-5400.
As you plan your holiday season and year-end giving, consider making a contribution to our Foundation.
Brianna Edler-Strand believes her faith led her to become a living kidney donor. “I was in college when I heard that the choir director at my church, Saint James A.M.E. in Newark, needed a kidney,” recalls Brianna. “I knew this was God telling me this is my purpose.” Brianna told her mom, a member of the choir, how she felt a calling to help Marcus, the father of young triplets who brought so much joy to the congregation.
“I knew this was God telling me this is my purpose.” —Brianna Edler-Strand, Living Kidney Donor “It was a miracle that Marcus and I were a match,” says Brianna. “I have no regrets and I don’t expect anything in return except to see him living his life.” Brianna’s college friend, Keath Gerald, a transplant recipient and fellow volunteer, encouraged her to get involved. The Newark native helps spread the word about living donation any chance she gets, including at her church where she distributed fans with information about donation during National Donor Sabbath in November. Like us on facebook @NJSharingNetwork
Use the envelope inside, or make your contribution online: www.NJSharingNetwork.org/ Contribute
KEEPING THE FAITH Certified Volunteer Brianna Edler-Strand donated a kidney to the choir director at her church.
YOUR SUPPORT MAKES SO MUCH POSSIBLE
“I hope to start a conversation to let people know that there’s a need for donation and not just living donation,” she says. Brianna also feels blessed to have helped someone experiencing kidney failure. She shares with great joy: “The young woman ended up getting her life-saving kidney.” To learn more, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Faith-Outreach. Follow us on twitter @NJSharing
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For the Love of Life: A recipient meets his donor family and other touching moments from the 5K Celebration of Life A publication of NJ Sha...
Published on Nov 8, 2018
For the Love of Life: A recipient meets his donor family and other touching moments from the 5K Celebration of Life A publication of NJ Sha...