2019 NJ Sharing Network Annual 5K - Part 1
In part one of this special series, Steve Adubato goes on-location to NJ Sharing Network’s Annual 5K to speak with individuals who share profound stories about organ and tissue donation and the impact it has had on them and their families.
Joe Roth, President and CEO, NJ Sharing Network
Shannon & Kathleen Finnegan, Donor Daughters & Co-Captains, Linda’s Lovees
Vernell Williams, Heart-Kidney Transplant Recipient, Team Chef Victor Michael
Cheryl Wolf, Donor Mom and Team Captain of Hope Wolf
Steve Caputo, Heart Transplant Recipient & Team Captain, “Steve is the Tin Man”
Kelly Bonventre, Hospital Services Manager, NJ Sharing Network
"Hi, this is Steve Adubato. I'm at the 9th annual New Jersey Sharing Network 5K. Some people walking, some people running. But all of them ten to twelve thousand of them, are all involved with the Sharing Network. Giving the Gift of Life. That's the slogan. But it's way more than a slogan. You've got people who are organ donors. You've got donor families. You've got donor recipients - organ recipients. You've got people who are coming together to make a difference, to share, to cry, to laugh together, to be together, here in New Providence at the New Jersey Sharing Network 5K. It's gonna change the way you look at life and giving back. We are here at the New Jersey Sharing Network 5K. It's the 9th year they've been doing this. We're here with Joe Roth, who is the President and CEO of the Sharing Network. Joe, it's early. The crowd's gonna be huge. Tell folks... give them context, when it started and where we are. What kind of attendance? Well, we started about nine years ago, and we expected only two or three thousand people, we had about seven thousand. And then every year, it's grown And now, we average about ten to eleven thousand people at this event. It's just grown tremendously. And it... But that's this event? There's another event as well? Yes. We have a 2nd 5K in Long Branch, down by the shore. We had it two weeks ago. And it started out, we had about 1,200 people the 1st year, and now we're up... I think it's the 4th year we're there. And this year, I think we exceeded five thousand people. It's giving us a little problem about whether we can still have it there. Because of the size. A nice problem? [laughter] A nice problem. You know, talk about... you know, in all candor, for those who know our series, and know our work, we've had a long-standing relationship, a partnership, a collaboration with the Sharing Network. Their job is to save lives. Our job is to try to talk about the importance of saving lives. Public awareness. Go back to the question I ask you every year about the importance of public awareness. Well, there are still four thousand people in New Jersey who are waiting for a transplant, and there are... three or four people die every month waiting..."