Individuals Share Life-Changing Stories of Organ Donation
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Landscape of Life Meditation Garden dedication to talk with NJ Sharing Network’s Chairman Peter Rooney about how the loss of his father made him become an advocate for organ and tissue donation. In addition, Missy Rodriguez, a liver transplant recipient, explains how she is now giving back to others through the Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund.
"I'm Steve Adubato. More importantly, I'm here with our good friend Peter Rooney, Chair of the New Jersey Sharing Network, Board of Trustees. How are you doing on a big day like today? Today is a great day. We've been looking forward to today for a long time. We've got a lot of friends and supporters here. You're here. You've been a tremendous supporter of ours. So it's a great day of celebration and tribute for us. Yeah, this meditation garden is opening up today. It's a day where all kinds of folks who have been part of the sharing network come together. Those who have given the gift of life. Those who have received the gift of life. But in your case Peter, there's a PSA that is actually running a lot that you have been talking about that you're a part of that I'm sure you never wanted to be a part of. But the reality is that you're making a difference. And it's about your dad who was a firefighter in Millburn. Gave his life for so many and waited but there wasn't that gift of life for him. Talk about it. Yeah, well, it's not a club that you want to become a member of. Unfortunately, 22 years ago my father was one of the 22 people who die everyday while waiting. Here in New Jersey, we have 5000 people waiting for the gift of life and it's unfortunate. My fathers story is unfortunate. But it's not unique. There's so many people waiting. The great work that we do here helps raise awareness and is making a difference. We see the number of lives that we're saving every year go up. We're saving more and more lives and that's because of the education, because of the awareness, and the philanthropy. We're making a lot of noise here in New Jersey and people are paying attention. We're making a difference. It's interesting. Your dad was waiting for... He was waiting for a kidney and unfortunately with a kidney, he waited for four and a half years before he had a heart attack and passed away. That was ten years ago. There have been a lot of advancements since then and a lot of new technology, so his death is really a shame and I'm really happy to be able to continue his work in answering the call to save lives of others. Is that why you do it? Because some might say "well your dad wasn't saved so why do it"? That's why I do it..."