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Thousands of people joined together in New Providence last weekend to show their support for organ and tissue donation during NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Celebration of Life Walk and USATF Certified Race.  

The event, sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health, is one of the Garden State’s largest and most-recognized charitable 5K events. Organ and tissue transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, hospital partners, and dedicated volunteers were energized to help raise awareness about the power of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. 

In addition to the 5K race and walk, attendees enjoyed music and dancing, food and refreshments, and games and activities for children.  

The June 9 event in New Providence followed the NJ Sharing Network’s successful May 19 5K Celebration of Life event in Ocean Grove, sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health, which also drew thousands of participants. 

Funds raised by 5K Celebration of Life participants, teams, sponsors, and contributors support the Sharing Network Foundation, which is committed to increasing the number of lives saved through clinical advancement, family support, and public awareness and education. Thus far in 2024, more than $1.5 million has been raised for this year’s 5K Celebration of Life campaign.  

Since 2011, when the first race was held in New Providence, the NJ Sharing Network Foundation has raised more than $12 million to support the work of NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplantation. 

Victor DiSanto, chair of the New Providence 5K Celebration of Life, has a powerful connection to NJ Sharing Network’s lifesaving mission.  

“We come together because all of us have been touched by donation and transplantation in some way,” DiSanto told the gathering in New Providence. “My son, Joe, is alive and well thanks to a heart transplant he received 18 years ago. None of this happens without our angel – Joe’s organ donor, Natalie, and her amazing family. They made the selfless decision to say, ‘YES’ to save lives.” 

There are over 100,000 Americans – nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey – waiting for a lifesaving transplant. One organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 others. To learn more and join the National Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, visit 

Photo Credit: NJ Sharing Network Foundation