WMC Seniors Learn Benefits of Organ Donation
Twin 18-year-olds ring in birthday with presentation at high school.
Rather than ring in their 18th birthdays with a party, West Morris Central seniors and twin sisters Lauren and Stephanie Turci decided to become organ donors.
On Feb. 14, the siblings, along with 25 advanced Spanish students from Central celebrated their birthday – which fell on National Donor Day – to learn more about the importance of becoming a donor, according to the NJ Sharing Network.
The Turcis are also raising funds by creating a team–Long Valley Laps for Life–which will participate in the NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Walk/Race on June 9, the organization said.
During a school event that day, the Turcis invited NJ Sharing Network Transplant Coordinator Oscar Colon, along with Ezequiel and Iris Garcia of Newark to tell the story of their son, Reinaldo, who saved the lives of others with organ donation, the network said.
The entire program was conducted in Spanish as part of a community education and awareness project assigned by teachers Betsy Lynch and Maria Zezes.
“I am excited my twin sister Lauren and I turned 18. Now that we are adults we have registered as donors on our official driver's license,” explained Stephanie Turci at the event. “Teens may shy away from these issues, but it’s important that we understand and can make informed decisions.”
Nearly 5,000 participants are expected at the June 9 5K event. Donor families, organ recipients, volunteers, community groups and corporate and hospital partners will come together for the 5K.
The 5K honors those who donated organs and lets those who received life-saving organs find a way to say thanks. It also provides hope for those on the organ donation waiting list and remembers those who died while waiting.