North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena and members of the town board joined with medical professionals from Northwell Health, representatives from LiveOnNY and Long Island TRIO, as well as kidney transplant recipients to declare April as Donate Life Month in the town of North Hempstead. Donate Life Month is a month dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging organ donation.
“There are currently over 8,000 children and adults on the lifesaving transplant list in New York alone, and nationwide, there are over 100,000 people waiting on a transplant. Every 9 minutes, another name is added to the transplant waitlist, and sadly, approximately 500 New Yorkers die each year because the organ they need is not donated in time,” Supervisor DeSena said. “These are truly sobering statistics. This month, the town is working to bring awareness and encourage residents to pay it forward and consider organ donation, an act that many religions celebrate as one final act of kindness. In signing up as an organ donor, one person can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more people through tissue donation.”
At the event, multiple organ transplant recipients told their personal stories detailing how transplantation has saved their lives. On hand were kidney recipient Michael Strong, chief of safety and emergency response training for the MTA, and Pete Prudente, a Glen Cove firefighter who was an altruistic donor who started a chain of donations after he donated his kidney to a stranger, to speak of the important impact transplantation has played in their lives.
Additionally, Dr. Ernesto Molmenti, surgical director of kidney transplantation at North Shore University Hospital, spoke regarding the kidney transplantation center at that hospital, which was recently rated No. 1 in the country for one-year survival of transplant recipients by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
“Those who make the decision to donate their organs, either through living donation or at the time of their passing, allow our Northwell team to give others in need a second chance at life. With a long list of patients awaiting vital organs, we must encourage our friends, family and neighbors to contribute to this important cause,” Dr. Ernesto P. Molmenti said.
A Donate Life flag was raised outside of the town hall, and it will stay there throughout the duration of the month. For those looking for more information about becoming an organ donor, visit www.LiveOnNY.org