NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue in the state, today announced #DonationNeedsDiversity, a new initiative to empower multicultural communities to become more involved in saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation.

“Cities and towns like Newark, Camden, East Orange, Jersey City and Paterson have a high concentration of people of color and they comprise 66% of our state’s transplant waiting list,” Joe Roth, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network.  “As a result, organ and tissue donation education in diverse areas is very much needed.”

The #DonationNeedsDiversity initiative honors the generosity of multicultural donors and their families while also highlighting the critical need for people from diverse communities to register as organ and tissue donors.  The effort will also promote healthful living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.  For example, the need for transplant in some ethnic groups is increased because of high incidences of high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can lead to the need for a kidney transplant.

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NJ Sharing Network will implement various events to bring the community together in support of organ and tissue donation.

·         On Saturday, July 20 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., six Walgreens/Duane Reade locations in Newark (61 Ferry Street), Camden (2626 Federal Street), East Orange (508 Martin Luther King), Jersey City (110 Newark Avenue), Paterson (639 E. 18th Street) and Union (2148 Morris Avenue) will be hosting educational displays and donor registration drives. 

·         On Saturday, August 17, a free Live Healthy and Move event will take place in Military Park in Newark, which will feature health screenings, fitness activities, nutrition information and family fun.  More information can be found at www.facebook.com/NJSharingNetwork/events.

·         On Tuesday, September 24, NJ Sharing Network will host a roundtable discussion asking members of various NJ multicultural communities to share their views about donation and how to best reach their community to help save more lives in Newark and beyond.

·         NJ Sharing Network also encourages everyone to share information on #DonationNeedsDiversity on their social media pages to highlight the crucial need for donors in diverse communities.  A toolkit, sample posts and graphics as well as additional educational information can be found here: www.NJSharingNetwork.org/Donation-Needs-Diversity.

“Although organs are not matched according to race/ethnicity, successful transplantation is often enhanced by matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group,” said Denise Peoples, Hospital & Community Services Coordinator, NJ Sharing Network and double-lung transplant recipient.  “Bottom line, a greater diversity of donors increases access to transplantation for everyone.”

In 2018, 678 life-saving transplants were made possible in New Jersey, 537 from deceased donors and an additional 141 from living donors. Today, there are nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents awaiting a life-saving transplant. Every day, approximately three people are added to the New Jersey waiting list, and one person dies every three days while waiting for a transplant. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can restore health to over 75 people. New Jersey residents can help save lives by registering as organ and tissue donors, having a conversation with family and friends and getting involved at www.NJSharingNetwork.org.

About NJ Sharing Network

Dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation, NJ Sharing Network is the non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents waiting for a life-saving transplant. With headquarters in New Providence, NJ, the organization, selected by NJBiz as one of the state’s “Best Places to Work” for the second consecutive year, is also part of the national recovery system, serving the 115,000 people on the national waiting list. In 2020, the Transplant Games of America are coming to New Jersey with more than 12,000 people expected to attend this biennial multi-sport festival recognizing the success of donation and transplantation and honoring the generosity of donors. To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit NJSharingNetwork.org.