Other Inspirations

Omayra Candelariaom

Omayra is the recipient of Riley’s right kidney.  Originally from Puerto Rico, Omayra has lived in New Jersey for the past few years.  She was born with one kidney and has dealt with health issues relating to her kidneys since she was a teenager.  After being on the waiting list for years, she finally received her life-saving transplant on December 20, 2013.  Mitch and Ali had the honor of meeting Omayra in September 2014 and continue to stay in touch with her as she is now an advocate for Riley’s Dance.  The chance to meet Omayra has brought comfort to Riley’s family and friends to see that she is living a healthy and fulfilling life because of Riley’s gift.  Mitch described the feeling saying, “We knew we made the right decision and we knew we were helping others, but it wasn’t tangible. Meeting (Omayra) gave me that closure.”

 

 

Team Liberty

Team Liberty, a program of the New Jersey Sharing Network, comes together at the Transplant Games of America, and all year round, to promote the success of organ transplantation, to raise awareness for the urgent need of organ and tissue donation, and to honor donors and their families who have so generously given the gift of life. The team is comprised of organ transplant recipients and their families, donor families, living donors, and transplant professionals from New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Northern and Central New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The men, women, and children of Team Liberty embody incredible spirit, courage, energy, inspiration, humor, sportsmanship, and friendship… just to name a few!

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The Transplant Games of America is a biennial, multi-day athletic competition for organ transplant recipients and living donors ages 2 – 85, regardless of athletic ability, and also offers inspiring programs for transplant recipients and their families, donor families, and living donors. Over 45 teams compete in 12 sports including badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, racquetball, 5K race, swimming, table tennis, track and field, and volleyball. It’s an awesome event that that celebrates life and honors our nation’s donors, with tears and laughter sprinkled throughout. It’s not to be missed!

The Wave Set

unnamed (2)“Jared & I are brothers, born 3 years apart, exactly to the day, yet our birthday isn’t the only fascinating connection between to the two of us. You see, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, primarily affecting my liver, just over a decade ago. Although my family and I have faced much hardship over the years, things took an unfortunate turn this past August when my doctors explained that they had spotted a tumor on my liver and my disease had been consistently progressing. A liver transplant has now become vital in order for me to continue my life. Due to the high demand of organs regardless of my critical state, I am no where near the top of the list.

When doctors posed the idea of undergoing a living-donor transplant (where someone donates 40-60% of their liver, having both the donor & recipient’s liver regenerate to full size) my older brother, Jared, jumped at the opportunity. As fate would have it, he was approved and we are set to undergo the transplant operation this upcoming February.” — Cameron