The New Jersey Sharing Network, the non-profit organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents awaiting life-saving transplants, have announced their annual 5K Celebration of Life running dates.

Come on out on Sunday, May 19 at the Great Lawn at the Ocean Promenade in Long Branch and again on Sunday, June 2 at 691 Central Avenue in New Providence for the events which are a 5K Walk & USATF Certified Race.

You'll be experiencing a day of music, dancing, food trucks, kids’ activities, sponsor giveaways and countless human interest stories attesting to the power of organ and tissue donation.

There will also be opportunities to see the families of organ and tissue donors embracing transplant recipients, living kidney donors walking alongside the person whose life they saved, teams rallying around a community member currently waiting for a transplant and New Jersey residents showing their support for a worthy cause.

'Team Buck' will be honoring two individuals this year at the Long Branch 5K – Dan Buckiewicz, the team’s namesake who gave the gift of life 10 years ago, enhancing the lives of more than 70 people, as well as a family friend, Joyce Novotny, who was a member and supporter of Team Buck.

Two years ago, Joyce was involved in a tragic accident, and saved the lives of eight by donating her organs.

“The 5K Celebration of Life events bring together donor families, transplant recipients, those waiting for a transplant, volunteers, sponsors and partners, all of whom play an integral role in making our life-saving mission possible,” NJ Sharing Network President and CEO, Joe Roth said. “The sheer volume of support, compassion and dedication is palpable as our teams walk and run to celebrate the gift of life.”

Through the 5K Celebration of Life, NJ Sharing Network’s Foundation hopes to raise $1,250,000.00 to increase the number of lives saved through innovative research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

In 2018, 678-life-saving transplants were made possible, 537 from deceased donors and an additional 141 from living donors.

Today, there are nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents awaiting a life-saving transplant.

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.

New Jersey residents can help save lives by registering as organ and tissue donors, having a conversation with family and friends and getting involved at www.NJSharingNetwork.org.

Participants, sponsors and volunteers interested in participating in the 5K Celebration of Life can learn more and sign up at www.NJSharingNetwork.org/5k.

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