NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents awaiting life-saving transplants, celebrates the 10th anniversary of its 5K Celebration of Life that has been held in multiple locations throughout New Jersey each year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Providence 5K event has been transformed into a LIVE online interactive program that will broadcast from NJ Sharing Network headquarters for viewers to tune in and watch on Sunday, September 13, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at NJSharingNetwork.org/5K.  In addition, a small, socially distanced studio audience will be in attendance, including organ and tissue donor families, transplant recipients and living donors. Presented by Pfizer and supported by dozens of other generous sponsors, the event will be one of our state’s largest online community events since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like NJ Sharing Network’s other 5K events, the Celebration of Life LIVE program will be a healing and uplifting experience for those whose lives have been touched by organ and tissue donation and transplantation.  The inspiring interactive online program will include special acknowledgement of teams, participants and sponsors, and the ability to post live on-screen comments. Participants are also encouraged to participate in a walk or run their own 5K route in their own neighborhoods following the live program and share updates, images and videos with NJ Sharing Network on social media. A virtual 5K race is also being offered for runners who plan to run their own route and submit proof of time. For more information or to sign up, please visit NJSharingNetwork.org/5K.

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“Clearly, we all wish that we could come together in person, but nothing will stop us from celebrating the gift of life,” said Donna Albanese-DeMair, Chair of the 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence and Captain of Team DQ. Albanese-DeMair gave her mother, Adele, a kidney more than 15 years ago.  “Our Celebration of Life LIVE program will be a special way to honor those who gave, pay tribute to those who received, offer hope to those who continue to wait and remember the lives lost while waiting for the gift of life.  This virtual online platform will also allow us to connect and share our message throughout New Jersey and beyond.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Celebration of Life, which first began with an event in 2011 at NJ Sharing Network in New Providence.  Since then, nearly 75,000 people have attended 16 events while participants, both walkers and runners, have logged more than 150,000 miles on the event courses (that’s over six trips around the world).  The number of participating teams has increased from 201 in the inaugural year to 377 in 2019, and event volunteers dedicated more than 20,000 hours of their time to ensure the events were seamless.

“Ten years ago, we could not have imagined the incredible impact that our 5K Celebration of Life would have on the donation and transplantation community,” said Elisse E. Glennon, Executive Director, NJ Sharing Network Foundation.  “Since its inception, nearly $9 million has been raised to increase 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. We thank all the families, friends, volunteers and sponsors who have participated every year.”

In 2019, 1,400 generous donors gave the gift of life and the number of organ donors surpassed 200 for the first time in New Jersey – 206 generous individuals saved lives through donation, resulting in 601 organs transplanted.  An additional 1,139 donors helped heal and enhance the quality of life of those in need of tissue and eye transplants while 173 individuals made the decision to give life as living kidney 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.  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 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 third consecutive year, is also part of the national recovery system, serving the nearly 115,000 people on the national waiting list. To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit NJSharingNetwork.org.

About our Foundation

NJ Sharing Network’s Foundation is committed to help increase the number of lives saved through innovative research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.