NJ Sharing Network, the federally-designated nonprofit responsible for the recovery of donated organs and tissues in the state, announced an incredible milestone.

What is this milestone?

They said 92 organs were transplanted in September, the most ever in a single month in the Garden State.

NJ Sharing Network President and CEO Joe Roth said this broke down to 46 kidneys, which is the most common organ the organization receives, 20 livers, 13 hearts, 10 lungs, and three pancreas.

New Jersey’s previous record for organs transplanted in a month was 82 in 2016, so this new record is a 12% increase, Roth said.

Why is this number a record-high?

Roth said this new milestone follows what the mission of the NJ Sharing Network has always been: to save and enhance lives.

“We are saving more lives than ever before thanks to the generosity of those in New Jersey,” Roth said.

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The miracle of donation and transplantation could not be possible without the expertise and dedication of the clinical staff and hospital partners, he added.

“We also have the best relationships with our hospitals in New Jersey for managing the donors and so forth. All those come together to help make more organs available for transplant,” he said.

During the past five years, NJ Sharing Network has increased its family support efforts within local hospitals as team members approached 60% more families to offer the opportunity for their loved ones to become organ donors.

Last year, the number of organ donors in New Jersey also reached an all-time high for the third consecutive year.

More than 2.7 million New Jerseyans are registered as organ and tissue donors, ranking New Jersey #4 in the percentage of state population on the National Donate Life Registry.

In the state, the NJ Sharing Network is fortunate to be supported by a wide range of community volunteers and partners who are committed to helping save lives and improve the well-being and health of their neighbors.

“We have a beautiful media campaign called #DonationMeetsDiversity which has received national recognition for building community trust and dispelling this information about donation and transplantation,” Roth said.

NJ Sharing Network has won several awards including one from the NJ State Chamber and another from the African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ for this diversity program.

How many New Jerseyans are waiting for an organ transplant?

About 4,000 New Jerseyans are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
One organ can do so much. Roth said one organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 others. Kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, and pancreas are the organs that get transplanted the most.

It’s so important to be an organ donor, Roth said. But understand that very few people become organ donors after they sign up. It’s only less than one-tenth of one percent.

“It’s an event that happens in a specific manner. It’s a head injury that’s usually non-survivable. If we know that the person signed up to be an organ donor, then we can move forward with the donation,” Roth explained.

How can you become an organ donor in New Jersey?

It’s very easy to sign up to become an organ and tissue donor. Interested people can do so at www.NJSharingNetwork.org. Roth also said residents can download the health app on an iPhone and do it there, or they can go to their local MVC office and have “organ donor” added to their driver’s license.

“With the diverse communities that exist in New Jersey, it’s a special task for us to make sure that we get the message out to all the different communities. We certainly want to make sure that the African American community has the option for donation because there are a lot of African-Americans waiting for transplants,” Roth said.

NJ Sharing Network also wants to look at other ethnic groups. He said it’s important for everyone to consider a donation if, and only if, the time comes.

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