Stories of Donation from the 2017 NJ Sharing Network 5K

Joanna Gagis goes on-location to the 2017 NJ Sharing Network 5K to talk with individuals who share their profound stories about the impact organ and tissue donation has made in their lives.

10/15/17 #619






"Hi Steve Adubato here in beautiful New Providence, New Jersey. I'm here with my colleague, Joanna Gagis. This is the 7th Annual New Jersey Sharing Network 5K. A big event. Gift of Life. Absolutely. Every year, we come here because we understand the importance of educating the public about organ and tissue donation, and we know that for every person who registers, 75 lives can be saved. It's incredible. Last year, they saved hundreds of people's lives. People who gave the gift of life. In this program, in the following half hour, both Life & Living and One on One, our other programs, you are gonna see people who are here because someone gave the gift of life to them. You're gonna see family members of people who decided to give the gift of live to others. They're marching together Joanna, on teams. That's right. 10,000 here are gathered today. It's such a significant event in New Jersey, because so many people have been impacted, like you said, by this issue. And so in this next half hour, and in the programs that we're gonna do, we're gonna be talking to those people, hearing their stories, and I'm sure it's gonna move you in the way that it's moved us. Check it out. I'm joined right now by Joe Roth, who's the President and CEO of the New Jersey Sharing Network. Joe, we're here, yet again, at the 5K. This is the 7th anniversary. Talk about what's significant about this year, and the growth that the organization has really seen over the last few years. Well, each year is significant because the run does grow. Every year we have more participants in it. But it's a way of getting the message out to the public about organ and tissue donation, and our core purpose which is saving and enhancing lives. And this event keeps growing in terms of response. Every year, as more people become organ donors, we get more teams that participate in this event, both on the donation side and the recipient side, and that just acts as a multiplier to get the message out for us about why it's important to sign up to become an organ donor. It's really incredible to see the impact that organ donation and reception really have on the families, right? Because as you said, the people who connect with this organization really stay with the organization. And continue to tell their friends. And then help raise money and raise awareness. What is it about this that impacts people so deeply? It's amazing, you know, early on in the days when I first started the network, we felt that we would leave donor families to their own selves, basically, because...."