July 17, 2024

Healt Hid

Because health is very important to us

West Orange Dad Honors Daughter’s Lifesaving Organ Donation

2 min read

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Riley Kogen passed away just a few days after her fifth birthday. But her final act of love saved two lives – and it continues to inspire people across New Jersey to this day.

As Father’s Day approaches, Mitch Kogen of West Orange is commemorating his daughter’s legacy with a $10,000 philanthropic contribution to the Sharing Network Foundation, which supports the nonprofit NJ Sharing Network.

The nonprofit, which is heavily involved with organ donation in the Garden State, said that after Riley died in 2013 – in the midst of their grief – her family members made a life-changing decision to donate her organs.

It was a choice that saved the lives of two women.

Since then, Kogen has continued to advocate for organ donation in his daughter’s name. And with the Father’s Day holiday approaching, he can’t help but find himself reflecting on how her donation has changed the lives of others … including himself.

“My daughter’s final act of love is what inspired me to continue to support organ and tissue donation and transplantation over the years,” Kogen said.

“This contribution is my way of honoring her memory and encouraging others to recognize the importance of organ and tissue donation,” he added.

In addition to his financial contributions to the cause, Kogen is a past member of the Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees and has been actively involved in raising awareness about organ and tissue donation through foundation events and programs.

An extension of its partner organization, Riley’s Dance Inc., Kogen established the Riley’s Path fund under the Sharing Network Foundation in 2021 to maintain a focus on supporting families impacted by donation and transplantation through crisis funding and academic scholarships.

Riley’s legacy has made an impact on hundreds of families through crisis funding, holiday gifts, high school scholarships, and more. To date, over 750 families have received funding to assist with medical equipment, medication, insurance coverage, rent, utilities, transportation, groceries, gift cards, and more. In 2023 alone, Riley’s Path granted more than $100,000 in support of crisis funding and programs that support organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

There is still an urgent need for organ donors, however. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are over 100,000 Americans – nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey – waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.

The good news? Just one organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of more than 75 others.

To learn more, get involved or join the National Donate Life Registry as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.

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