NJ Sharing Network 5K Celebrating "The Gift of Life"
Joanna Gagis goes on-location to Brookdale Community College to the NJ Sharing Network’s 5K walk/run. There Joanna speaks with individuals who have received the "gift of life" through organ and tissue donation, as well as the families of loved ones who gave their ultimate gift and have saved hundreds of lives across the country.
"I'm Joanna Gagis and welcome to another special edition of Life & Living dedicated to honoring those who have given the greatest gift possible, the gift of life. Many of the stories you'll hear today are emotional, some are filled with joy, some are filled with pain but in each one you'll hear the promise of hope and how the gift of organ and tissue donation transforms lives. I'm here with Joe Roth who is the President and CEO of the New Jersey Sharing Network. Joe we usually cover this 5K walk up in northern New Jersey, right, up in New Providence. Tell us what brings us here today to Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. Well this is a culmination of 6 years of effort to get the word out about organ donation throughout New Jersey and we added a second 5K in April in Bergen County and now we've added a third 5K this year, this is our first one, to get the word out down in central and southern New Jersey and draw from people here who can't make it up to New Providence or to Bergen County and people who support organ donation down here, down the shore and help us get the word out and improve the chances of people getting transplanted in New Jersey. Joe explain what the need still is for people who are waiting for a life saving organ or tissue here in New Jersey. Well, in New Jersey there are almost 5,000 people waiting for a life saving transplant. Most of them are kidney recipients waiting for a kidney, but it's people waiting for lungs and hearts and livers and our job is to try and increase the number of organs donated to save those lives. Everyday there are about 7 people in New Jersey who are dying because they can't get a transplant and our job is to prevent deaths on the waiting list. So events like this get the word out, we get a lot of publicity and also it's resulted in some traction on this because in 2015 we increased the number of transplanted organs by 37% over the year before, so, and this year were on track to even accessed that, so we're very proud of these events and how they get the word out in public education. You've also really expanded into some meaningful partnerships that are going to help get the word out right, talk about donate Life for America and how you're working with them. Well that terrific. Donate Life for America is a national organization that does public education on organ donation. Back in October they developed a national organ donor registry which we piloted for them here in New Jersey..."