April 16, 2014 at 5:00 AM
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno visited NJ Sharing Network's New Providence headquarters on Tuesday to highlight the importance of increasing the state’s donor registry.
NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit organization responsible for recovering organs and tissue for transplant in New Jersey. National Donate Life Month is celebrated annually to honor the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their families and commemorate all transplant recipients.
Guadagno was given a tour of NJ Sharing Network’s state-of-the-art laboratory, which continues to research ways to increase the number of viable organs and tissue available for transplant. She also met family members whose loved ones donated their organs and tissue, as well as heard the stories of renewed life from transplant recipients.
“Visiting NJ Sharing Network today, allows me the privilege of meeting those whose lives have been saved by an organ transplant and the families of organ and tissue donors, true heroes, who call the great state of New Jersey home,” Guadagno said. “On behalf of the State of New Jersey, I am truly honored to be here today to recognize all that your organization does to save lives through organ and tissue donation here in the Garden State.”
Guadagno was joined by MVC Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez. The MVC manages the state’s donor registry. In addition, members of NJ Sharing Network’s Governing, Advisory and Foundation boards attended, as well as donor families, transplant recipients, volunteers and staff.
“It was our honor to host Lt. Governor Guadagno as part of Donate Life Month and introduce her to our staff and volunteers, and our donor families and recipients, such as Bruce Goldstein, the chair of NJ Sharing Network’s Governing board who received a new heart,” said Joe Roth, president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network. “Her presence and kind words helped energize our team of volunteers, supporters and staff who are committed to reducing the waiting list of nearly 5,000 people in New Jersey in desperate need of a life-saving organ.”
Currently, the number of people on the wait list for life-saving organs in New Jersey include: 73 people for heart transplant; 3,980 people for kidney transplant; 48 people for kidney/pancreas transplant; 521 people for liver transplant; 43 people for lung transplant; and 34 people for pancreas transplant.
One organ donor can save up to eight lives and restore health to 50 others; a key reason as to why organ and tissue donation is so critical.
“After my brother died five years ago, I was able to experience solace knowing his generosity helped others, including giving the gift of sight to another person,” said Bonnie Evans, also a member of NJ Sharing Network’s Governing board and CEO of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange. “Hearing the Lt. Governor pledge her support today to help raise awareness about the life-saving and life-enhancing benefits of organ and tissue donation will inspire others to do the same.”