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New Jerseyans show caring spirit with support for NJ Sharing Network

By Joseph S. Roth

Thanks to the support of our team members, healthcare partners and dedicated volunteers,
2020 was a record-breaking year for NJ Sharing Network’s life-saving mission.

New Jerseyans showed their generosity and caring spirit like never before as the number of organ donors in a single year reached an all-time high as 222 generous individuals gave the gift of life, an 8% increase over 2019’s previous record.

This donation milestone was achieved despite the unprecedented challenges and restrictions that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on organ donation and transplantation throughout the nation, especially here, in New Jersey, where severe hospital patient surges forced the temporary suspension of routine medical care, elective surgeries and most transplant activity in April and May 2020.

In addition, deceased patients with active COVID-19 virus were absolute rule-outs for organ or tissue donation in 2020.

We owe our latest achievements, first and foremost, to the generous donors who gave the gift of life, as well as their families.

We are also deeply grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our NJ Sharing Network team members and healthcare partners who continued to put their own lives at risk on the front lines of care providing comfort and support to donor families.

In 2020, 572 organs were transplanted thanks to our donors in New Jersey, including 339
kidneys, 124 livers, 50 hearts, 45 lungs and 14 pancreases. In addition, 46,462 tissue and eye donations healed and enhanced the quality of life of those in need. Tissue donations include eye corneas, heart valves, skin grafts, and bone grafts, ligament and tendons.

Our dedicated volunteers and partners are also to be applauded for their unwavering support.

We cannot afford to take attention away from education and awareness, and our outreach
efforts continue to flourish online and in local news media.

Thanks to those who share their uplifting stories and messages, our outreach activities helped generate a 14% increase in New Jersey registrations on the National Donor Registry in 2020.

But we must all remain focused to save and enhance more lives through organ and tissue
donation. In New Jersey, nearly 4,000 people are on the organ transplant waiting list and one person dies every three days waiting for a transplant. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 people.

While we still face many challenges and some uncertainty in 2021, NJ Sharing Network is well prepared to handle what comes our way thanks to true partners and friends, like you.

Thank you New Jersey for all you do to save and enhance lives each and every day.
To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit
www.NJSharingNetwork.org

Joseph S. Roth is the president and CEO of the NJ Sharing Network.

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