Newark, NJ--Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure, helping them to achieve renewed and active lives. Currently, more than 110,000 men, women and children in the U.S. are awaiting organ transplants to save their lives. Thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight. With organ donation producing such life changing results, it is surprising that while 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, only 38 percent of licensed drivers are registered to be organ donors.
“The hope is that people will read news stories about how patients’ lives have been changed so dramatically because of the gift of organ donation, and that this will prompt their registration as an organ donor,” says Sadanand Palekar, M.D., Program Director of the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC). The Renal and Pancreas Transplant Program of Barnabas Health is one of the world's most progressive transplant programs and one of the largest among 240 in the U.S.
Patients like Alvaro Gutierrez, a medical technologist who received a second chance at life from a kidney donation, are walking advertisements for the benefits of organ donation. When Alvaro was 13 years old, he was diagnosed with cancer, was treated and recovered. Years later, he was told that the chemotherapy treatments affected his kidneys and one day, he would need a transplant. Alvaro came to the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in 2005 and in 2009 he received a kidney from a deceased donor.
Several initiatives are underway to increase donor registries:
- Recently Donate Life America, the national organization dedicated to increasing the number of registered organ donors, developed an initiative with Facebook to increase donor registration. On May 1st, Facebook launched an upgrade to its timeline, which asks users to check their organ donor status and directs them to Donate Life America’s National Registration Page -- allowing them to designate a donation decision if they have not done so already.
- The New Jersey Sharing Network will register donors at its upcoming Share NJ 5K Run on Sunday, June 10 at 9:15 am in New Providence, NJ. There are 209 teams registers and 1,790 participants expected. Visit www.sharenj5k.org.
- Governor Chris Christie last month visited NBIMC to sign legislation promoting organ donation. The legislation established April as Donate Life Month in New Jersey and requires that the State disseminate organ donation information to all State employees, reminding them of the need for organ donors.
To register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor and join in this lifesaving work, visit www.DonateLifeAmerica.org. To learn more about registering as a recipient or to find out about Living Organ donation, contact Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at 1.877.878.7555.
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, (NBIMC), a 673-bed regional care teaching hospital, provides comprehensive health care to its local communities and well beyond. NBIMC has more than 800 physicians, 3,200 employees and 150 volunteers with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is fifth in the nation in the number of heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Saint Barnabas Health Care System affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume. To learn more, visit us on line at www.newarkbeth.com
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and part of the Barnabas Health, is the state's premier hospital caring for children, with specialized services to treat ill and injured children from newborn to adolescent years and has the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care program in the region as well as preventive programs that promote wellness in the community. For a referral to a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, please call 1-888-724-7123.
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Date: May 22, 2012
Contact: Beth Salamon
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