By: Danielle Incognito
The NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissues for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents waiting for a life-saving transplant. It is also a part of the national recovery system which currently serves 115,000 people on the national waiting list.
Gary Imhoff, Marketing and Communications Manager of the NJ Sharing Network (New Providence, NJ) shared, “In 2018, 678 life-saving transplants were made possible, 537 from deceased donors and an additional 141 from living donors. Every day, approximately three people are added to the New Jersey waiting list, and one person dies every three days while waiting for a transplant. One organ donor can save eight lives, and one tissue donor can restore health to over 75 people.”
Kelly Bonventre, a hospital service manager at Saint Clare’s Hospital (Dover and Denville), helps educate the staff on the process and activity regarding the network’s mission. She networks and makes relationships based on the importance of work The Sharing Network does. She shared that she makes rounds in the emergency rooms and ICU to provide the information to the specific areas in the hospital that would most likely benefit from the information. She also ensures that the staff is medically trained in case by case need.
One Flanders, New Jersey man’s life mission was to help others and save lives. Even in his passing at St. Clare’s Hospital (Denville) on June 15, he fulfilled his mission as an organ donor for the NJ Sharing Network. He was 52 years old.
During his life, he accomplished great things and gave his life to helping others. He was a life-long member of the Flanders Fire Dept., serving as both past Chief & past President.
Fred also served Mt. Olive Twp. as Fire Marshal, Construction Official, Captain of EMS, and OEM Coordinator. He was an avid Yankees fan, enjoyed smoking cigars, playing with his pup, and spending quality time with his three daughters Kelsey, Morgan, and Riley as documented in his obituary.
The family showed his same compassion as they asked for donations to the American Heart Association in lieu of flowers after his death.
On its website, NJ Sharing Network encourages all communities to learn more about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation. They post that increased awareness can be very helpful when talking with family members, friends and co-workers about the benefits of organ donation.
Mr. Imhoff of the NJ Sharing Network shared that New Jersey residents can help save lives by registering as organ and tissue donors at www.NJSharingNetwork.org, having a conversation with family and friends, and joining NJ Sharing Network at its upcoming events.
He also shared that in 2020, the Transplant Games of America are coming to NJ with 12,000 -15,000 people expected to attend this biennial multi-sport festival recognizing the success of donation and transplantation and honoring the generosity of donors and their families. More info is available at www.njsharingnetwork.org/tgameadowlands2020. To learn more, get involved, and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.