It's more than a 5K... it's a Celebration of Life

Behind every 5K team, there is a story. Read the inspiring team stories below that show the courage and hope from donor families, living donors, transplant patients and recipients.

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Team Andrew
Team Andrew was created in memory of Andrew Jova. Andrew was born July 3, 1991. His heaven date is August 23, 2008. Andrew was about to start his senior year in high school. He was an active member in our church’s youth group and a member of the Jr. Firefighters program in Brick, NJ. Andrew loved to play golf, lacrosse and football. He loved the Yankees and the Green Bay Packers. He was a fun boy full of energy. We made the decision to donate his organs after spending a few days in the hospital waiting for things to get better. Losing Andrew is a daily struggle but we have faith that Andrew is home with Jesus and donating his organs has made it possible for others to live. Team Andrew brings awareness to organ and tissue donation and honors the memory of our sweet, crazy Andrew.

Anthony's AngelsAnthony’s Angels
Team Anthony’s Angels was created in memory of Anthony Lisanti. Anthony was a loving father, husband, brother, uncle, son, and friend. Anthony worked as a Construction Project Manager before he passed away on February 29th, 2012. Anthony enjoyed sharing jokes with his family and friends and watching his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and the Yankees or Mets, whichever one was doing better (sorry Uncle Ant, had to include that one). Most importantly, Anthony was your biggest supporter and your biggest uplifter, we all still look to him for a little help. Anthony would use the term ‘you’re my hero’ to signify his admiration for his loved ones. However, through his organ donation, Anthony has shown all of us what it truly takes to be a hero- giving to those who need it most. While Anthony cannot bicker with his family over his Eagles, or track down the next big weather storm, or even send those little ‘you’re my hero’ texts that would brighten any day- he still finds a way to bring us together and make us all better people. Simply put, Anthony’s 44 years of life were a blessing to all those he came across. Anthony’s Angels attend the NJSN 5K every year in order to celebrate the life and legacy Anthony had left behind.

Appliance Master CaresAppliance Master Cares

Appliance Master is proud to have John Grennen who joined the company in July 2018 after having donated a kidney for his father in an organ chain. John’s father misdiagnosed with acid reflux instead of heart disease. What was supposed to be routine testing ended up with John’s father staying in the hospital on the transplant list. He received a new heart within a month and was out of the hospital three weeks later with a new lease on life. John says,” I’ll be forever grateful for the family of the person who donated a heart because I got years with my father that I never would have.” Later, John’s father began having kidney problems. His father started dialysis, but John felt strongly about wanting to help his father by donating his kidney. With a wife and small children, John’s decision wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do. Although John’s kidney wasn’t a match for his father, the transplant coordinator explained the donation chain process; John could donate a kidney to someone else so his father could get a perfect match. In John’s own words, “I never met the person who received my kidney but I can tell you what an amazing experience it was and how if I could I would do it again. Organ donation has been amazing for my family. Without it my father would not be around to see my kids grow up and that is a big driving force for him. It really is an amazing experience and it costs you nothing to be an organ donor.” The staff at Appliance Master has other family members whose lives have also been touched by organ donation. We are proud to support John’s selfless gift and his activities with the NJ Sharing Network.


betsy's dashBetsy's Dash
Team Betsy’s Dash was created in memory of Betsy Niles. On March 30, 2011 Betsy was walking to catch the train to work in NYC and was hit by a van just yards short of the Upper Montclair train station. Betsy passed away the following day as a result of a serious head injury. In January of that year, Betsy celebrated her 60th birthday and was a vibrant and loving woman. A mother, a grandmother, a loving companion and the closest of friends to many, many people. As devastating as her death has been, her ability to be an organ donor became a timely gift to many individuals in need and inspired her family and friends to participate in the 5K Celebration of Life. The team name, Betsy’s Dash, was inspired by Linda Ellis’ poem, The Dash, a beautiful poem with the message that what is really important in life is the dash between one’s date of their birth and one’s date of their death. Betsy’s Dash has participated in every 5K since the inception of the event and look forward to coming together again this year.

Biff's GiftsBiff's Gifts
Giving Back… Words and Actions Randy lived by. Dr. Randall Giles was a husband, father, son, uncle, god-father, nephew, cousin and friend. He would give you the shirt off his back and ask if you needed pants. Randy’s untimely death in 2012 rocked our world but made his words and actions come to light. Early on, Randy made the decision to give the gift of life and we believe that was his way of bringing team Biff’s Gifts together. We, his family and friends, honor him by giving of our time and treasure to the NJ Sharing Network and 5K Celebration of Life every year. We believe Randy would be proud of the participation of his team. He would celebrate the success and awareness that Biff’s Gifts has brought to the donation and transplant community.

Team Buck

Team Buck
Dan Buckiewicz had the ability to light up a room with his presence. Unfortunately, his promising twenty-one-year-old life was stolen in an instant after a tragic motor vehicle accident in 2009. Dan went on to become a hero, assisting the lives of over 70 strangers through organ and tissue donation. His family created Team Buck in 2011 for the inaugural 5K Celebration of Life and has continued to honor his legacy every year. In 2018 their team also began honoring their friend and Team Buck supporter, Joyce Novotny, who passed away in September 2017. Joyce was able to save and enhance the lives of eight people through the gift of life. Team Buck and the 5K has become such an important way to remember Dan and has even led to some momentous life events. After the 5K in 2013, Dan’s sister and Team Buck captain, Amy, met some friends at The Parker House to continue celebrating. Amy noticed the bartender’s green bracelet and asked him about his connection. The bartender, Vinnie Buddle, wore the bracelet in honor of his father who is a living kidney donor. That chance meeting led to the marriage of Amy and Vinnie and the recent arrival of the newest little member of Team Buck.

Breezy's Brigade
Briann Lentine, a vivacious young woman, passed away suddenly on October 18th, 2022, at age 31. Breezy’s Brigade was formed to honor Briann’s life and the impact she left on all of those who had the pleasure to know her. She was a loving daughter, sister and friend to so many although her favorite title was dog mom to her sweet baby Clover. Professionally, she worked as a high school guidance counselor for Middletown South and a bartender at Donovan’s Reef during the Summer months. She truly enjoyed the work that she did and cared so deeply for her students. Briann had a love for the Green Bay Packers and Harry Potter; if she could have created a spell for more Super Bowl Championships, she would have! She also had a passion for running and that brought our family together for many 5K races, something we truly enjoy. Briann, the selfless woman she was, made the decision to be an organ donor, saving five lives in the process. To witness the effect that decision has had on so many is remarkable. This is Breezy’s Brigade’s first NJ Sharing Network 5K and we look forward to celebrating the lives of donors, recipients and all those who love them so deeply.

Caitlin Gives

Caitlin Gives
Team Caitlin Gives was created after the sudden death of Caitlin Nelson, a selfless, intelligent, loving, warm-hearted young woman who was one month shy of her 21st birthday when she tragically passed away. She had a brilliant smile, dazzling charm, and bubbly personality. She loved a medium rare filet mignon, shopping, eating chocolate, and going to the beach. Caitlin was a social work student hoping to be a pediatric oncology social worker and she was also a huge proponent of organ donation. At one time prior to her accident, Caitlin told her mother to donate her organs if anything ever happened to her because she said someone could use them. Caitlin Gives attended their first 5K in 2017, just a month after Caitlin passed away. One year, the recipient of Caitlin’s lungs and her team joined our team for the 5K. This will be Caitlin Gives’ fifth year participating in the 5K Celebration of Life. Caitlin’s family and friends are honored to be part of such a special day. They will continue to walk to share Caitlin’s message about organ donation and to keep her memory alive.

Cindy’s Amazing Grace
Cindy Von Schmidt was sent to home to heaven on February 14th 2016, due to a fatal brain aneurysm. Her daughter created Team Cindy’s Amazing Grace to honor and remember the multiple life-saving and enhancing gifts Cindy gave when she passed, as well as, to keep her legacy of love and warmth alive. Cindy lit up a room with her contagious laugh, her smile and her kind heart. She was an avid baker, a skier, but above all a loving wife, sister and mother. This year she would also become a first & second time grandmother. Cindy’s Amazing Grace has participated in the NJSN 5k every year since 2016 and plans to continue to do so to share the important message of organ & tissue donation and keep Cindy alive in our hearts!

David's FlockDavid's Flock
David’s Flock was created in memory of David Bird, a 2004 liver transplant recipient and avid supporter of organ and tissue donation. David championed the cause in New Jersey and New York by competing in the NJ Sharing Network 5K, cycling in the NYC Triathlon and running the 2013 NYC Marathon to raise funds and awareness for organ and tissue donation. A member of Team Liberty, David was thrilled to compete in the 2008 and 2010 Transplant Games. David always had his donor and her family in his heart and mind, especially when he competed. Our team honors David for his zest in life, his donor who gave him renewed life, and all donors who give the gift of life.

Team DeLeo: Christel's Light
Christel DeLeo was one of the most loving, caring and kind people that you could ever meet. Her bright smile and infectious personality brought joy and happiness to everyone that crossed her path. Christel was always a devoted advocate for organ and tissue donation, and often encouraged others to register. On July 17, 2021, Christel passed away suddenly, at age 48, from complications resulting from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Her gift of donation was able to enhance the lives of many people, including giving the gift of sight to two individuals. Her generosity and loving spirit continues to carry on through every one of her friends, family members and the lives of people impacted by her selfless gift. Christel’s Light was founded in 2021 to honor her gift and to further the message about organ and tissue donation.


Team Devon
Team Devon was created in memory of Devon Lewis - beloved son, brother, uncle, fiancé and friend. He was only 23 years old when he passed away suddenly in April of 2022.  Devon was a very passionate man and was very protective over all his loved ones. He loved to learn, especially when it came to history and the sciences, He found solace in nature and would research and watch animals frequently. Devon loved to be a part of the gaming community where he was well-known and loved by many. He received his HVAC certification in December of 2021 and graduated with a 3.87 GPA. Unfortunately, he did not get a chance to pursue his career. His gift of donation was able to enhance the lives of many people, including a 15-year-old girl who received his heart, an 11-year-old girl who received a tendon for her knee and a young woman who received a cornea – all of who have reached out to us with gratitude and love for our hero Devon. Our first 5k was in 2023. We plan to participate every year to honor and remember him and to celebrate the life and legacy Devon left behind. 

Team Donna JeanTeam Donna Jean
Team Donna Jean was created in honor of our sister/daughter/friend Donna Jean Patterson, who, through organ donation, was able to save the lives of 5 others. Donna was active in the NJSN community before it was even her time to selflessly give the gift of life by participating in past 5K events. Despite battling her own struggles, she was a great friend to those who knew her and was known for her energetic attitude and her ever changing hair colors. This will be Team Donna Jean’s first in person 5K event. We look forward to sharing Donna’s story with the new friends we hope to meet and one day would love to meet a recipient of Donna’s organs. Knowing she was able to help others is the driving force behind what keeps everyone who knew Donna going.

Emma's Heart

Emma Navarro received a life-saving heart transplant at the age of 11. Emma was born with a heart defect which surgeons were able to repair as an infant that gave her many healthy childhood years. Shortly after Emma turned eight she started to feel fatigued and noticed a lack of endurance during sports and activities. Her doctors diagnosed Emma with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and she was put on the waiting list for a new heart. Emma received her second chance of life in November 2012. Just over 6 months after her transplant, Emma and her family and friends participated in their first 5K Celebration of Life with their team, EMMA’S HEART and have attended every year since. Emma considers herself proof of just how important organ and tissue donation is and is proud to attend the 5K each year and advocate for NJ Sharing Network.
Team HaileyTeam Hailey
Hailey was an energetic and good-hearted teenager who was known for her contagious smile and laughter. She had a tremendous number of friends who, along with her family, love and miss her dearly. Hailey’s goal in life was to save lives. She wanted to enlist in the Air Force and eventually become a surgeon. Unfortunately, Hailey’s life was cut short due to a tragic car accident. After her passing her family was approached by NJ Sharing Network. Knowing Hailey’s dream her family made the decision to donate her organs. Hailey saved five lives and gave many others a better quality of life through tissue donation. Team Hailey had the honor to meet Hannah, Hailey’s liver recipient at the 2019 5K. Hailey continues to live in spirit, through her friends and family. Each year when Team Hailey gathers at the 5K they can feel Hailey walking alongside them.

HHS Donate Life ClubHHS Donate Life Club
Hillsborough High School Donate Life Club was started in March 2017 by Zachary Roth to honor his brother, Matthew.  Matthew was killed by street racing drunk drivers on July 19, 2015. Matthew saved 5 lives through organ donation (heart, liver, pancreas, both kidneys and one lung).  He also donated his corneas to provide the gift of sight. Matthew loved sports and was an avid Rangers, Jets and Mets fan, along with his alma mater, The University of Maryland Terps. Matthew graduated from the University of Maryland, Smith School of Business in 2013 with a double major in Accounting and Finance and passed his CPA exam the first time he took it. Matthew loved spending time with family and friends, traveling and music. Matthew will always be remembered for his big smile, infectious laugh and kind heart. He would go out of his way to help people and never judged anyone. Matthew lived by his motto; work hard but play hard too. Team HHS Donate Life raises funds for NJ Sharing Network so they can continue their lifesaving programs and walks to honor Matthew Roth, Jared Colon and Joseph Hernandez who were all HHS students and organ and tissue donors.

Irenas AngelsIrena’s Angels
Irena “mom” passed away on January 23rd, 2021 from a devastating brain aneurysm. She was a devoted mom of two children and she is the strongest woman they know. Her hobbies included spending time with her family, gardening, cooking, and “getting her steps in” with her fury friend Rocco. Irena had a bright and generous personality and was best known for her meals that could feed an army of men. She touched many lives with her generous, warm soul; Irena’s zest for life was infectious and she is greatly missed every single day. This is our first year participating in the NJ Sharing Network 5K Celebration of Life. We are coming together not only to get “our steps in” for mom, but also to honor mom and all donors who are the true heroes.

Team JackTeam Jack
I have created this team in memory of my father, John Jaccodine, better known as Jack to his family and friends. Jack died suddenly on April 7, 1997 at the age of 54 after suffering a fatal hemorrhagic stroke. Our sudden and tragic loss of Jack devastated us. He was a fiercely loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend who had a love of all things sports, especially the New York Yankees. We are able to donate his organs and tissue such as his heart valves, bone, and parts of his eyes. Knowing that he lives on in others is indescribable. We will celebrate his life by participating in this walk. He will be gone 25 years this year and would have also celebrated his 80th birthday in August so this is a big year to remember Jack and the loving man that he was.
Team Joe JoeTeam Joe Joe
Although Joe left us on April 15th, it was on April 16th that Joe gave the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. Joe's golden heart began beating again for someone else, allowing them a second chance to live and love whole heartedly just as he did. Joe was an amazing and selfless person who would do anything to help someone else. He touched the lives of so many during his life and is continuing to do so even after his death. Through the donation of his organs, Joe was able to provide hope to people who were waiting for a miracle. There is no doubt that those who received Joes gifts now have the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest and enjoy moments that they would have otherwise missed. We are here today in his memory! We love you Joe!

Team JohnnyTeam Johnny
My Husband John Cuffe was known to everyone as “Johnny”. Johnny was loved by everyone. His smile and infectious laugh would brighten a room. When he decided to become an organ donor, it came as no surprise to those who knew him best. That’s the type of person he was; kind, compassionate, hard worker; but most of all, generous. Johnny would do anything for anyone, whatever was asked of him. He never gave it a second thought and didn’t want any acknowledgement. Johnny died suddenly on December 16, 2017 at the age of 53, from cardiac arrest at home with me. When NJ Sharing Network contacted me within hours of his death, I thought, leave it to Johnny to give an everlasting gift to someone around the holidays. It wasn’t until after Johnny’s death that I truly realized the importance of organ donation. I have since become an organ donor, and have become involved with the NJ Sharing Network establishing ‘Team Johnny’. It has been a wonderfully rewarding experience filled with heart felt emotions. Although Johnny’s death has left us with a hole in our hearts, it brings us comfort knowing his decision has saved and improved multiple lives. His memory will live on forever...

Team Jonathon
Team Jonathon was formed in memory and honor of 20-month-old Jonathon Paul Kuzminski, who passed away on May 13, 2011 and saved the lives of two children through organ and tissue donation. Jonathon was the happiest baby in the world. He had a smile that lit up a room.  A two-year-old boy, Wyatt, received Jonathon's liver and a 16-year-old girl received both of Jonathon's kidneys. Both are healthy today because Jonathon's parents said "YES" to donation. The Gift of Life is truly amazing. Jonathon's legacy will live on forever through Team Jonathon and our family and friends. The world is missing his smile, but his smile is lighting up the skies. "A smile that will always be missed and never forgotten!"  #WEMISSYOUJONATHON #TEAMJONATHON4EVER
Team JoyBellesLove
Talea Joy Stokes transitioned on Aug 14, 2014 due to a seizure, when I was told she would not make it to her 10th birthday, God had something more in-store for my miracle baby. Talea was able to give the gift of life at 20 years old so our family quote is "God took his best to answer a prayer request ". While she was able to give this gift, 6 months later I lost my only sister, Tabitha Ann Stokes, who gained her wings on Feb. 25, 2015. Tabitha was in need of a transplant so we walk in honor of both of them and I'm so happy to be a volunteer and advocate for the NJ Sharing Network, it's so important to share the news and education of organ and tissue donation. Have a discussion with your family about organ and tissue donation, it will change someone’s life.

Just Do ItJust Do It in Celebration of Joe D'Addio
"Just Do It" participates in the 5K in the celebration of Joe D’Addio’s life and the life he gave to others through his organ and tissue donation. At the age of 50, Joe suffered a brain hemorrhage and, after days in the hospital, Joe passed away. In his final hour, he had the ability to save and enhance the lives of over 125 people through organ and tissue donation! The Just Do It team has been participating in the 5K Celebration of Life since the very first event in 2011 and looks forward to coming together each year to celebrate the life and legacy of Joe and all the other organ and tissue donor heroes that have given the gift of life.


team levine

Team Levine
Team Levine has been participating in the 5K Celebration of Life since 2015 to honor the life and legacy of John Levine who gave the gift of life. John’s daughter and Team Levine Captain, Jennifer, has found creative ways to fundraise for their team by hosting different events over the years, including a socially distant networking event last year that she hosted with her husband for real estate agents and developers. Team Levine’s goal is to raise awareness for the important need of organ and tissue donation and to celebrate John’s life and they are able to do that each year through the 5K and supporting NJ Sharing Network in any way possible.
LilyLily’s Laces Girl Scouts
Lily’s Laces Girl Scouts was created by Lily Coniglio and Aaria Nadar from Girl Scout Troop 40140. We are working on our Silver Award project to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation in our community. We partnered with the NJ Sharing Network to help educate younger members in our area about this important cause. Over the last two years, we met with several Girl Scout troops and read two children’s books about organ and tissue donation. Lily’s mom, Rebecca Coniglio, wrote these books, and they are titled “Lily’s Laces” and “Running for Riley”. Last year, we participated in the virtual 5k race and we are so excited to participate again in September.

Lisa's Butterflies
Team Lisa’s Butterflies was created by her sister, Team Captain Amy on behalf of Lisa’s daughter, Jaidyn. Lisa was a loving mother, sister, aunt, daughter, fiancé and friend who adored butterflies. At only 40 years old, Lisa Marie Beverly left us unexpectedly on December 8, 2022.For our first 5k, it’s a way to honor and remember Lisa by bringing all the people who loved her together. We also walk to bring awareness about the importance of organ donation & to support the NJ Sharing Network. Lisa knew early on as an ICU nurse that she wanted to be an organ donor. We are sure she is happy to see how many lives she was able to help with her gifts (liver, kidneys, corneas & tissues) She lives on through us and with us, day in & day out. Forever our hero flying high with her butterflies.
Team Live(r) Big!
Team Live(r) Big! was founded in 2023 by Emily Barkocy, a liver recipient in July 2022, to honor her donor and their family. On June 30, 2022, Emily suddenly began experiencing the worst abdominal pain of her life and her primary care doctor thought her appendix had burst. She went straight to her local hospital only to be diagnosed with acute liver failure and kidney failure as a very active, healthy, 40-year-old mother, of four-year-old twin girls with no pre-existing conditions. Within hours, she was airlifted from her local hospital to NYU Langone where she was evaluated for an immediate liver transplant. The team at NYU told her that between her outrageously elevated liver enzymes and the lethal levels of ammonia in her blood, she had roughly 24 hours to live. A miracle happened the next day when they found Emily a liver that was a match and on July 3, 2022, she had the liver transplant that would save her life. Overnight, doctors discovered an arterial bleed in her kidney, and a second surgery was required to remove her right kidney. After a month in the hospital recovering from her transplant and on dialysis, Emily went home to her family. Almost 2 years later, she is thriving and every day she wakes up with a grateful heart for the generous family that donated their loved one's liver to her. She will forever be thankful for her team at NYU, and her donor family who saved her life! Emily's donor is her hero, and she encourages everyone to register as a donor because you could be someone else’s miracle!

team lukeTeam Luke
Luke David Bautista was born on April Fool’s Day 2001. He brought love and laughter to everyone he came in contact with during his entirely too short 15 years. Luke had a great love of music, a passion for creating movies and videos and truly lived his life in a remarkable way. Luke’s light continues to live on within the people he was able to save through organ donations. He was able to provide five life-saving gifts and along with his tissue donations, he has helped close to 100 people. He is truly a hero but not only through the gifts he provided. He is a hero because of the way he lived his life and the impact he had on so many people. He made every moment of his life count and his family and friends come together each year as Team Luke to continue his legacy.

Team Lung Distance
My story started at the age of 27, I signed up for my first ever 5 mile run but when I started training I realized I could not run for more than 30 seconds without being out of breath and wheezing. After multiple tests and visiting various specialists, I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease in which my doctors explained as being a terminally ill disease. My health declined rapidly and I was put on oxygen 24/7 just 1 short year later. My lungs continued to slowly collapse, were very weak, and were at 19% capacity. At this point my only chance of survival was to be listed on the organ donation list to receive 2 lungs. My prayers were answered when I received the call early that April morning in 2017. Now 5 years later, I feel like a normal person again and my quality of life has significantly improved. I even completed that 5 mile run! But the second part to my miracle is that I have met my donor family and have a great relationship with them. Check out their team page, Caitlin Gives. Caitlin is now my angel, because of her selflessness I am alive today.

Maeve the Brave

Maeve the Brave
Maeve Annette Behan passed away on August 13, 2017, one week shy of her fourth birthday. She always wanted to be a superhero and now she truly is. Maeve saved four lives by donating her organs through NJ Sharing Network. Maeve’s heart saved a one-year-old boy, her liver saved a one-year-old girl and her kidneys saved two adult men. We are so proud of her strength. Losing Maeve has been unbearable but her organ donation has been the rainbow at the end of the storm. Maeve was a beautiful little girl who touched so many lives. She was a firecracker and liked to stomp her foot to get her point across. She was also a very loving child. She loved to cuddle on the couch sucking her thumb and twirling her hair. She is forever in our hearts.

Max's Mitzvah Movers

Max’s Mitzvah Movers
Sam Prince was born with multiple congenital heart defects which kept him from engaging in the typical joys of childhood, such as going to school, riding a bike and running through the playground. For the first seven years of his life, Sam thrived as best he could, undergoing numerous surgeries and depending on medication. When he was 8-years-old, he received a life-saving heart transplant at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at New York-Presbyterian. Sam’s brother, Max, wanted to do something special in honor of his brother for his Bar Mitzvah project in 2012 and started the Max’s Mitzvah Movers team for the 5K Celebration of Life. Sam, Max and their entire team have been at every 5K since, walking in honor of Sam’s transplant and the generous donor that gave him the gift of life.  Sam recently celebrated his 10th Anniversary with his new heart.

Paul's Roadrunners
Team Paul's Roadrunners was created in memory of Paul Daniele by his daughter Cassie (with a little help from me, Eileen (Cassie's Mom and Paul's former wife). Paul was born March 23, 1964 and passed suddenly on March 26, 2023 when he was able to continue giving his gift of life to others.  He was an operating engineer at the World Trade Center in 1993 at the time of the first bombing attack as well as on 9/11. In the aftermath of both attacks, he was sought out by the law enforcement recovery teams because he knew the blueprint and corridors of the buildings so well.  He also helped to organize grief counseling for his surviving crew after they lost dozens of their engineering team on 9/11. He loved skiing, ballroom dancing, ice cream and running.  He was a marathon runner and a running coach to many including his daughter Cassie who runs on her college team.  He was lovingly referred to as roadrunner since he loved the cartoon character, so it is most appropriate for our 5K team to bear that name and continue his passion. Being a part of the NJ Sharing Network has brought new life and purpose to those of us that knew Paul so well.
Paully's Heavy Metal HeartsPaully's Heavy Metal Hearts
Paully’s Heavy Metal Hearts team was created in remembrance of Paul Budz and his love for music. Paul was a beautiful soul that could make any situation funny and lighter. His loud personality helped many of us get through some of the hardest days. He was into heavy rock music but had the sweetest and most lovable touch. He was referred to as Uncle Paully because he was the best uncle to little French Bulldog Gigi; he would rub her butt and lay on the floor with her for hours. Unfortunately, he was blindly taken from this world way too soon. At only 35 years old, Paul was sent on his next mission. We are sure he is happy to see how many lives he was able to help with his organs (heart, liver, both kidneys, eyes, and skin). He lives on through us and with us, day in & day out. Forever our hero.

Ray of LightRay of Light
In 2014, we tragically and suddenly lost our dear Keren Friede. Keren was beautiful inside and out. She had an infectious laugh, a warm and kind heart and was amazingly intelligent. Her kindness resonated in all that she did including her choice to be an organ donor. Her legacy and spirit live on in the gift she shared through organ donation. Since her death, our family has participated in NJ Sharing Network’s annual 5K Celebration of Life. Each of Keren’s nieces and nephews have been captains of our team and raised money in Keren’s memory as part of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah Project. This year we continue that tradition and are so excited to honor all of those who have shared the Gift of Life through organ donation.

Team RBTeam RB
Team RB was created by Christine Linton, the oldest sister of Robert Bruce Linton, III. In 2004 Robert was struck and killed by a negligent driver on his 11th birthday. Shortly prior to the accident, Robert had seen ‘organ donor’ on his mom’s driver’s license. He asked her what that meant, she told him and immediately he said he wished to be an organ donor. Unfortunately, due to his injuries, Robert was unable to donate. In the weeks following his passing, children in the neighborhood set up a lemonade stand and raised money in Robert’s memory for NJ Sharing Network. Team RB looks forward to coming together each year at the 5K Celebration of Life to connect with their family and friends, spread awareness around their community and share memories of an amazing son, brother, grandchild, cousin, friend, neighbor, student and boy.

Rescue HeroesRescue Heroes
On October 3, 2017, my son Shane Myer, was killed in a car accident on Route 80 while driving to work. I got the devastating phone call at my job. There was no hospital to go to; he was instantly gone. I remember being led across the schoolyard; children were running and laughing. I heard only silence except for my crying, “Where is he ?!” over and over again. My Shane was only 21 years old and he’d already accomplished his goal of becoming a distinguished Diesel Mechanic as well as a volunteer firefighter in Wyckoff. He was the most giving person who always looked out for his friends and especially his brother, Brandon. Shane always gave more than he took, no matter the situation. While I’m sure he’ll be remembered for his funny personality and unique hairstyles (convincing me to do liberty spikes for him when I wasn’t aware it was picture day for the yearbook), Shane’s ultimate gift was to selflessly be a donor through NJ Sharing Network. Shane’s organ and tissue donation saved and improved the lives of 70 people. He’s forever our hero and we miss him every minute of every day. Please donate life and become an organ donor through NJ Sharing Network.

Team Rey Rey

Team Rey Rey
Ezequiel and Iris Garcia did as many Puerto Ricans have been doing for decades, they came to the United States looking for better opportunities. They fulfilled their American Dream by establishing roots in Newark, getting good jobs, buying their own home, starting a family and living a decent, productive life giving of their talents and knowledge to others. On September 11, 2011 their lives changed forever when their middle son, Reinaldo, was called to heaven. Reinaldo was an excellent teacher, coach and son that any parent would like to have. Reinaldo was lovingly nicknamed Rey, which means king. Team Rey Rey was created to celebrate Reinaldo’s life, help raise awareness about donation and transplantation and support NJ Sharing Network in every way. Team Rey Rey is proud to honor the excellent person that did so much in such a short time and who even after his passing, is still giving.

Team Rosie
My name is Rosemarie Hampp and I’m the Captain of Team Rosie. The team was started this year as a way to celebrate my 20th Anniversary as a living donor. On December 17, 2003 I donated my kidney to my Mom Rose. Hence the name “Team Rosie.” I am on a mission to raise $20,000 in honor of my Mother and all living donors. I chose the famous image of Rosie the Riveter for our team logo not only for the name, but for what she embodies. It is a call for us to work together to support and advocate for organ and tissue donation. It illustrates that we can do anything we put our minds to. WE CAN DO IT! Please join me on this journey as a Team Rosie member, whether it be as a participant or supporter. It is greatly appreciated. In addition, I’ve designed four different stickers to inspire others to register to be organ donors or to show their support for the Transplant Community. They are weatherproof and can even be put in the dishwasher. So go ahead and stick them anywhere! I would be happy to send one or more to you. Feel free to reach me at
shamrocks for marcShamrocks for Marc
Team Shamrocks for Marc was created to honor and remember the life of Marc Ryan Cooper. Marc packed a whole lot of living, loving, friendships, happiness and fun into his 25 short years with us. With a mischievous smile and a twinkle in his eye, Marc was proud of his Irish ancestry, always finding and collecting shamrocks. They became a symbol of his life and good luck. His family and friends were comforted in the tragedy of his death when Marc was able to save the lives of five people through his gifts of life. Each year, Team Shamrocks for Marc gathers together at the NJSN 5K and other events to support each other and keep his memories and love alive.

Share Your Spare
In August 2020 I read a newspaper article about a 25 year old young man in need of a kidney suffering from kidney disease, with his whole life on pause being hooked up to dialysis machines 9 hours a day looking for a miracle. Reading this article empowered me to decide to volunteer to go through the initial blood testing to see if we were a match, in which I was notified that I was blood type O so I was a match to donate to anyone. Thrilled with the news I decided to continue with the rest of the testing process and found out we were a direct match. After going through the rest of the testing process and deciding to give the gift of life with my kidney donation, the week before our transplant surgery our surgeon told us the only way we could have been more of a perfect match was if we were identical twins and even in other situations identical twins aren’t as much of a perfect match as we were. 11/10/2020 changed the lives of many and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Helping one person may not change the world but helping one person may change the world for one person. From Strangers to Brothers here we are. Brandon and I have organized our team to raise awareness to the benefits of organ and tissue donations and fundraise for a cause that changed the lives of many others.

Shine Brighter
Courtney Wilczewski, our amazing daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, and friend to all that knew her,  was killed in May of 2015. They say that each life has a beginning, middle and end. It should not be measured in years, but what we do with the time we are here. Courtney’s entire life was devoted to family, friends and service. She was bright, passionate and on her way to fulfilling her dream of becoming a physician. She was determined to help all people, advocate for those less fortunate and volunteered as often as possible. Courtney was loyal, feisty and had the most infectious laugh and smile. Our bright light is missed but we will continue to spread love in her honor for the rest of our life. To borrow an old saying, carve your names on hearts, not tombstones. Your legacy is etched in the minds of others as by the stories they share about you. While Courtney’s life ended way too soon, she has left us with many life lessons, stories and memories that will last forever. Her final gift of donation has helped 133 people. 

Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required
Team Some Assembly Required celebrates the second life of James, as the result of a successful liver transplant, and honors his donor’s miraculous gift. The first Celebration of Life his team attended, Jim was still very ill. So they sat at the finish line and cheered every single participant. Now they walk together – in rain, in shine – and continue to be awed and humbled by how many lives have been touched by organ donation.  Jim’s team is all about having heart – even if what you may really need is a brand new liver. The book Some Assembly Required: A True Story of Love and Organ Transplants (coming out in May 2021 from publisher Black Rose Writing and written by James' wife) chronicles this adventure of hope and healing.

Team Sorrentino_1Team Sorrentino
Brad Louis Sorrentino was full of life and had enough love to share with every person he touched. With his blue eyes, irreverent charm and contagious smile, Brad lit up the room and had a knack for winning over everyone he met. His fun sense of humor made him the comedian of the family. Family was Brad’s passion. He was very proud of his two sons and it meant the world to him to be able to create precious memories with them. In 2016 Brad suffered a traumatic head injury from a tragic work accident. His selfless act to give the gift of life as an organ donor saved the lives of many. Even in the darkest of times, Brad found a way to be a beacon of hope for his family and others. The Sorrentino family finds comfort knowing that through his gift Brad lives on in others and continues to honor his legacy.

Team T-Bones CrewTeam T-Bones Crew
Team T-Bones Crew was created in 2018 to honor Todd Allen Holloway who passed unexpectedly from an undiagnosed genetic disorder called ARVD on March 11, 2017. This is our family’s way of keeping his spirit alive. Through the NJ Sharing Network he physically was able to give the gift of sight to two women in Michigan through the Eversight Foundation and skin to 11 women to recover from mastectomies related to breast cancer. We are so proud of his accomplishments in life and graduating from the University of Hartford with a degree in technical radiology. He carried forth his passion for helping others in the ER and Trauma department at JSMU by his kindness and patience with clients. He also brought these attributes into his daily life as a son, brother, husband, and father. He taught his children about the love of the outdoors through fishing, hiking, exploring, and biking and to always strive to do your best. Being part of this organization helps us give hope to others by giving a positive outlook to the future in very dark and stressful times. Help by signing up to register as an organ and tissue donor today or make a monetary contribution to our Team T-Bones Crew. YOU can make a difference in our world!
Tims RangersTim’s Rangers
Tim was a happy, friendly, outgoing 12 year old. He was a wonderful big brother to Kevin and Kathleen. He and his friend spent hours playing roller hockey and he had hopes to join the ice hockey team. Tim was a devoted hockey fan. He knew all the players and their stats. His favorite team was the NY Rangers. Sadly, Tim’s life was cut short on April 22, 1999, when he was hit by a car on his way home from a friend’s house. We decided to donate his organs. He was able to give his corneas and heart values and helped three people improve their lives. We began participating in the NJ Sharing Network to celebrate Tim’s life. Our team started as a team of one in 2013 and slowly but steady grew, with family and friends joining us. We continue to participate in this Celebration of Life event to remember Tim!

Tina Runs on Spare PartsTina Runs on Spare Parts
The team Tina Runs On Spare Parts was created to honor both Tina’s personal donors & her patients who gave the gift of life. Tina has grown up around Donate Life. Being in the presence of Dialysis as a youth & through the loss of many family members Tina learned the importance of being an organ & tissue Donor, at an early age. Now, as a registered nurse herself she has been on both sides of donation through her patients that have donated & received. However, this past year Tina’s story came full circle. She became a bilateral double tissue transplant recipient. It’s because of two angels & those spare parts, that she walks freely on her own today. Tina just celebrated one year since her last transplant! Tina Runs On Spare Parts is in memory of all those who have given the true gift, past & present, donors & recipients. Tina hopes to inspire others through her personal & professional experience & shine light on the impact of Organ & Tissue Donation. Tina’s Team proudly walks for all the angels who so freely gave the ultimate gift.

Tyler's Tight Lines

Tyler’s Tight Lines
On February 11, 2019 Lorie Rodimer got the call no mother wants to get, “there’s been an accident.” Lorie’s son Tyler, forever 23, was in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Two months and many surgeries later, Tyler’s family was told he was never going to wake up. His family was then approached by NJ Sharing Network because Tyler was a registered organ donor. Tyler always did the right thing and this was no exception. This was going to be his final act of kindness. Tyler saved three people on that fateful day he was taken off the respirator with his liver and both kidneys. His heart valves helped 2 people with genetic disorders, and 16 different people were helped with his skin donation, 12 of them were women that had a mastectomy and needed skin to heal. All of this was a balm for Lorie’s broken heart! So, Tyler’s Tight Lines walks for Tyler, for a generous young man who gave of himself on his worst day, so someone else could have their best day. Walking is a way to honor and remember him and to bring all the people who love him together. Their team also walk to bring awareness about the importance of organ donation, and to support the NJ Sharing Network.

team wayne gTeam Wayne G
Everyone that had the privilege of knowing Wayne, knows that he was a loving, trustworthy, easy going person with the biggest heart. He was the first one to lend a helping hand and be there to listen with an open mind. He was a devoted son, husband, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. On July 25, 2016, Wayne was taken from his family and friends at the young age of 34. By his most precious gift of organ donation, he has given many others the gift of life. Wayne’s family and friends are all so very saddened by the loss of Wayne. However, they are grateful knowing that he was able to give a better quality of life to others in need. Team Wayne G are honored to be part of the 5K Celebration of Life to honor Wayne and all the other heroes who gave, celebrate with those who received, and offer hope to those who continue to wait.

W.W.G.D (What Would Guy Do?)
Team W.W.G.D (What Would Guy Do?) was created to honor the man, the myth, the legend, and our hero Guy Lazur. The team was created by his loving wife and daughters Christine, Alicia and Caroline. Guy was born a preemie on June 23rd, 1954 and almost didn’t make it passed his actual birthday! We believe that somehow, because of that experience, he always knew to live his 64 years to the fullest and appreciate every day as a gift. If you even just knew Guy through stories, you knew he was the very essence of compassion and kindness. He was always there for his family, friends, coworkers and would give a stranger the shirt off his back in times of need. Not surprising that he left this Earth a hero on September 8, 2018, donating his organs to others who needed their lives saved. He also was often recognized  by his LOUD laugh and was known for his sense of humor that was truly one of a kind, immediately dissolving you into laughter. His joy for life transmitted wherever he took his smile and lit up a room.


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