Mayor Mark A. Smith met with a group of organ donor families and a heart recipient in the City Council Chambers recently. During that session, he issued a proclamation declaring April Donate Life Month in the City of Bayonne. The proclamation endorses organ and tissue donation. He emphasized the importance of participating in organ donation by registering that intention with the Motor Vehicle Commission when people obtain or renew their driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards.
Mayor Smith said that the gift of life through organ donation “transcends ethnicity, race, creed, and color.”
In his remarks, Mayor Smith referred to the book by Bayonne resident Dan Bonner, who received a liver transplant in 2005. Mr. Bonner struggled with liver disease before receiving the new organ that saved his life at the age of 32. The mayor pointed to community activist Jerry Kelly, who was sitting in the audience. Mr. Kelly is a heart recipient, who has reached age 70, thanks to a successful transplant.
Mayor Smith thanked Alyssa Daddio and Trevor Cork, representatives of the New Jersey Sharing Network, who were present. The Sharing Network is the non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization that is responsible for the recovery of organ and tissue for the nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents who are currently awaiting transplantation. The mayor said that the Sharing Network’s activity produces “a ripple effect of good works.”
Donor family representative Barbara Kuzminski of Bayonne thanked Mayor Smith for being “really supportive” of the cause of organ and tissue donation. For example, she noted that the City Administration has distributed information about organ and tissue donation to municipal employees.
At the end of the ceremony, Mayor Smith joined the families to examine a donor remembrance quilt, which was on display in the Council Chambers. The quilt has sixteen cloth squares on its surface. Each square bears the image of someone whose passing enabled another person to receive transplanted tissue or an organ, the gift of life.
To contact the Sharing Network, please call 908-516-5400 or 800-742-7365, or e-mail info@SharingNetwork.org.