Health & Wellness

NJ Sharing Network Marks Record-breaking Year For Lives Saved In 2016

2633850198cb07f6f9d1_IMG_0351.PNG
2633850198cb07f6f9d1_IMG_0351.PNG

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -  In celebration of its 30th anniversary, NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue in the state, has achieved another record-breaking year making 613 transplants possible, representing a 16 percent increase from 2015.  Tissue donation also broke records for the organization with a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

“NJ Sharing Network exists for one reason – to save lives – and this is the highest number of organs transplanted in the 30-year history of our organization,” said Joe Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer, NJ Sharing Network.  “We accomplished this because of the endless commitment of our staff, the excellence of our transplant laboratory, the dedication of our volunteer corps  and, most of all, the generosity and compassion of our donors and donor families who make the decision to the give the gift of life by registering as donors and talking about it with their loved ones.”

Jill Szalony, wife and mother of three from Glen Ridge, has been suffering from heart issues since 2009 when doctors in December of 2015 told her that she needed a life-saving heart transplant to survive. She was placed on the waiting list at that time and, in November 2016, received her gift of life – a heart.

Sign Up for E-News

“Jill is just one person whose life was saved in 2016. I am proud to know that there are over 600 people spending 2017 with their families because of the work we do at NJ Sharing Network. It is a testament to our staff and the importance of awareness, education and public support of organ and tissue donation,” said Roth.

“When times were tough during my journey, I would turn to NJ Sharing Network.  It is a huge community network, which proved to be more like joining a family that supported me every step of the way,” said Szalony. “Registering as an organ and tissue donor was never a question for me – it takes less than a minute – but I never imagined that I would become a recipient.  I am eternally grateful to my donor and their family for making the choice to be an organ donor and for giving me the gift of life.”

Gregory Brown understands Jill’s feelings of gratitude from her transplant. In 2016, the Clark resident was waiting for a kidney after ten years with a previous kidney transplant. While waiting and attending dialysis appointments, he maintained a positive outlook, worked full-time and exercised regularly to stay as healthy as possible. In August, he received his transplant.

“Staying positive is in my nature, but it also doesn’t hurt to have the right people around you to lift you up. I am so grateful for the gift of life I have received,” said Brown.

There are currently 5,000 New Jersey residents awaiting a life-saving transplant. Every day, approximately three people are added to the New Jersey waiting list, and last year 97 people died while waiting for a transplant. One third of the people waiting for a kidney transplant have been waiting for more than three years. 

Similar to NJ Sharing Network’s 2016 organ and tissue donation record, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system, reported that the number of organ transplants performed nationally reached a record high for the fourth consecutive year with 33,606 transplants reported.  While this milestone reflects lives saved and enhanced, there are still more than 120,000 people nationwide waiting for the gift of life.

Approximately 95 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, yet only about 40 percent are registered donors.  To date, more than 2.5 million New Jersey residents have registered as organ and tissue donors. To learn more or get involved, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives Overwhelming Support from Community to Help Mothers this Mother’s Day

June 20, 2018

Mother’s Day is often celebrated by showering the women in our lives with beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and taking them on special outings to show them how much they mean to us. Yet, for many low-income mothers living in our community, they struggle each day to provide the basics for their babies.

Diapers are a necessity yet one in three families in the United States lack an ...

New Providence Recreation Offers Adult Summer Programs

New Providence Recreation is accepting registrations for adult evening and daytime programs that run June 25th – August 31st.  Most of the eight to nine-week sessions are under $65; several programs are free for NP residents!  All levels of fitness and those returning to exercise are welcome.

Programs are offered starting at 6 a.m.. If you are seeking weight loss, core body ...

Summit Community Blood Drive is Sunday; First 50 donors Will Get a Free Union Theater Movie Pass

The weather may have just started to warm up, but New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) is already urging the public to donate blood as we head into the summer months.  With schools closing and vacations scheduled, less people donate blood from June through August but transfusions are still needed for local patients.   

“We’re especially thankful to our dedicated donors ...

Union County College Hires New Dean of Humanities

CRANFORD – Dr. Melissa R. Sande is the new Dean of Humanities for Union County College. Dr. Sande joined Union in the fall of 2013 as a full-time instructor of English. She has more than ten years of teaching experience and has previously served as a program coordinator, writing tutor, and an adjunct instructor.

As the Dean of Humanities, Dr. Sande will be responsible for the supervision ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...