By Cleve Bryan

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Six years ago when Shannon Cenci learned she had kidney disease, the Mercer County mother admits she was afraid.

“There’s a lot of unknowns when you’re in in-stage renal disease or kidney failure,” says Cenci.

She applied to be on a donation list and began the uncomfortable task of asking friends and family if they would donate a kidney.

“You can’t imagine how difficult of a question that is, you’re asking a friend or a co-worker ‘you have two kidneys can I have one?” recalls Cenci.

To make matters worse she found in New Jersey organ and tissue donors have no temporary disability rights or job protection.

She told her Assemblyman Daniel Benson it isn’t right someone should risk their job or lose pay and benefits to save a life.

So he’s sponsoring a bill to make sure people are eligible for temporary disability benefits if they take off time to donate an organ, and make sure they don’t lose their job.

“We just want to make sure that we have full protections here in New Jersey so that people can do the right thing for the right reasons,” says Benson.

Despite the fact that more than 2.5 million people in New Jersey are signed up through the MVC as willing organ donors—there are still more than 4 thousand people at any given time on organ waiting lists.

Shannon believes bill A411 will help.

The Assembly Labor Committee will take up the donor protection bill on Monday June 5th at 10 a.m.

If this is an issue that affects you, you can go and testify or send an email of support to the bill’s sponsors.

You can find their contacts and read the bill here


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