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April is Donate Life Month – Register to Become an Organ Donor and Give a Second Chance at Life

Everyone has a story – whether it was a friend of friend, a neighbor, or a cousin’s roommate –but rarely is it ever, “Did I tell you that an organ donation saved my life?” At RWJBarnabas Health, we would like to hear more of these life-changing stories – we live and breathe them each day, and it’s time that more people realize just how meaningful they are to patients and their families. April is National Donate Life Month, and we are aiming to educate everyone on how they can give hope and save lives through organ donation.

We are proud partners with NJ Sharing Network who provide the resources for the placement and recovery of transplantation. Since their formation in 1987, organ transplants have quadrupled due to their education and awareness of the process. They are not only recognized in New Jersey, they are also part of the national recovery system which helps organ placement for the thousands of people on the national waiting list.

Organ donation is more selfless and admirable than a check mark on the back of a driver’s license. It can breathe life into the face of death, bond a tragic event to a miracle, and restore faith in a time of uncertainty. Just one donor can save up to eight lives and registering online takes only a few minutes.

RWJBarnabas Health is committed to organ donation more than any health care organization in New Jersey, and our nationally-respected team of transplant specialists offers hope and an increasing number of transplant opportunities to many whose medical conditions previously prevented transplantation as an option. We are grateful for those who share their stories with us. When Jean Smith – a nurse at Saint Barnabas Medical Center – received both a kidney and heart transplant, she decided to write a book based on her experience. Walter Porto is used to being on the other side of emergencies with his risky rescuing job, but when it was his turn to get rescued after he was told he only had six months to live; it was Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick that worked quickly to get him the new heart. With every patient story, we hope that their accounts influence people to register as a donor and give someone else a second chance at life.

Learn more about how we are transplanting hope and health with our comprehensive transplant services at www.rwjbh.org/transplant.