NJ Sharing Network's 30th Anniversary Special
Joanna Gagis goes on-location to the 30th Anniversary Gala for the NJ Sharing Network at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City to talk with families of organ donors and organ recipients who explain the importance of giving the gift of life.
"Welcome to Life & Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. I'm at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the New Jersey Sharing Network, New Jersey's organ and tissue procurement organization. In this next half hour, we'll hear profound and personal stories of loss, of life, but mostly of hope, both from those who have given, and received, the gift of life. I'm joined right now by Elisse Glennon, who is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Sharing Network Foundation. We're here at the Liberty Science Center for the 30th anniversary event, and we're standing in front of an exhibit. Talk about this exhibit and why it's here. Well, Liberty Science Center attracts people of all ages, but primarily students, children and students, and their families. And we thought what a better place to educate families about organ donation? And when they're coming here to learn about science, and learn about their bodies? So here this exhibit features personal stories from organ donors and recipients that students can learn from. It also features a variety of interactive games. You know, this whole... Liberty Science Center is very interactive and hands on, so we wanted our exhibit to be the same. So when we think about organ and tissue donation, it doesn't feel like a hands on thing, right? But there has been this partnership with the Liberty Science Center over the years. Talk about the Live From exhibit, and how that's really educating the next generation of donors? Yeah. We have been doing a partnership here with Liberty Science Center and Robert Wood Johnson-Barnabas Health for years, featuring a live kidney surgery, where the surgeon is actually performing the kidney recovery and the transplant surgery live, mic'd up, speaking with the students as he does that. Now that's not happening here, right? It's happening at the hospital and then it's broadcast here? Yes. Right. It's happening at the hospital in the OR, and it's broadcast right here at Liberty Science Center. And our role as the Sharing Network, our involvement in that program, is that we bring kidney donors, living kidney donors here to speak with the kids about their personal experience having given a kidney to a loved one. Or to a stranger, altruistically. What have we seen about the impact of an exhibit like this, of the Live From exhibit, where we know we're reaching a younger population? Yeah, well we do hear kids and families talking more and more about organ donation. It certainly raises the awareness, not only of living kidney donation, but about the need for organ donation at-large, and the 120,000 people currently waiting for a..."