HAMILTON, NJ – A Hamilton man is headed to college with a scholarship in recognition of his passion for raising awareness of organ and tissue donation.

Michael Snyder, 18, a recent graduate of Hamilton’s Steinert High School, is among six New Jersey high school students to receive a scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year from NJ Sharing Network (NJSN). According to a statment from NJSN Snyder will use the scholarship to attend Mercer County Community College where he will advocate for organ and tissue donation awareness. 

Born with kideny failure Snyder has received three kidney transplants, his most recent from an angerl donor in 2017. Throughout this time Snyder has spread the word about organ and tissue donation, and, at just five years old attended his first Donate Life Transplant Games. Snyder has participated in five Games since and recently went to the “Rally at the Capital” at the Pennsylvania State House to support the Donate Life Act. 

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“This year’s NJ Sharing Network scholarship recipients are a unique group of young people dedicated to raising awareness of organ donation,” said Joe Roth, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network. “We know they will continue to make great strides when they start college this fall.”

The scholarships were presented by the organization’s Foundation family and partner funds: the Betsy Niles Scholarship Fund, in memory of Betsy Niles, a children’s book editor and lifelong Montclair resident whose organs were donated in 2011; Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund in celebration of Missy Rodriguez’s liver transplant; and the Hearts for Emma Partner Fund which supports high school education and donation advocacy efforts.

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.  Sadly, 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.

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