MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of Freeholders has proclaimed April as Donate Life Month 2019 in Morris County to encourage county residents to consider registering as organ and tissue donors, and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation through the NJ Sharing Network.
“Just one organ and tissue donor can save as many as eight lives and restore health to 75 others,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “We commend the Morris County Donate Life Group, one of the longest-running groups in the NJ Sharing Network, for their commitment to donors, donor families, recipients and advocates.”
Accepting the proclamation at the Board of Freeholders’ March 27 meeting in Morristown was Donald Farrell, a Sharing Network ambassador and member of a donor family (including his wife Kathy), who accepted the proclamation in memory of his late son, Donald J (Donnie) Farrell III.
Also attending were Cathy Cerbo, a Sharing Network ambassador and member of a recipient family; Michele Dabal, the Sharing Network’s philanthropy and foundation coordinator and a transplant recipient; and Wendy Rothschild of CTBS Funeral Home and medical examiner liaison for the Sharing Network.
NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for those in need of life-saving transplants. The organization operates 24-hours a day, year-round, with a team of more than 150 highly trained members on staff.
The group works closely with hospitals and transplant centers, has a state-of-the-art transplant laboratory that runs tests to ensure that donated organs are compatible with recipients, provides emotional care for affected families, and runs public education campaigns.
In Morris County alone, 188 people await the gift of life with the largest numbers of resident on the waiting list living in Lincoln Park and Parsippany. They are among 4,000 people in New Jersey and 115,000 Americans nation-wide awaiting life-saving transplant operations.
In 2018, the NJ Sharing network facilitated 163 organ donations and 537 life-saving transplants. Tissue donors numbered 1,027 resulting in 50,000 health-restoring graphs.
While only 33 percent of New Jersey residents are registered as organ and tissue donors, the need continues to grow. Every day, three state residents join the waiting list, and every three days a New Jersey resident dies waiting for a transplant.
The NJ Sharing Network’s mission is to save lives through organ and tissue donation by educating residents at community health fairs and events, at high schools, as well as participating in the organization’s annual 5K Celebration of Life run/walk events coming up in in May in Long Branch and June in New Providence. Other events include a golf classic and tennis tournament and cycling events.
The Morris County group meets monthly. For more information click here.