EDITORIAL — In a very dark world, there’s still some brightness left

Turning on the television these days is a risky proposition, especially if you’re among those who don’t like watching the negative. If you thrive on the negative, this editorial is not for you.

On the pages of this newspaper this week is a story that serves as a reminder: Despite all the doom and gloom, there still is a lot of good happening in the world, but more importantly, right here in our own backyard.

We return to the story of Gianna Graw, 24, of Lyndhurst.

This young woman made what’s called a “Good Samaritan” donation of a kidney. That means she didn’t have a friend or relative in need of a the vital organ. Instead, she initially had no idea who would get her kidney (or parts of it) when she made the decision to donate one. 

She did it without mental reservation. She did it because she wanted to do good in this world. And because of her generosity, four people across the country will live — including two in two people in Los Angeles and one each in Tampa and San Francisco.

She also did it in tribute to her dad, William Graw, a Jersey City police officer who died in 2016.

Just think about this for a moment. She underwent a harvesting surgery that requires a significant amount of recovery time (two months or more.) Her donation brought her no money, no fame, very little in return. And she did it all anyway.

Four people on the UNOS transplant list who might not have otherwise survived instead lived because of the generosity of a New Jersey woman, all of 24, whom they may never meet. There are few acts of selflessness that compare to this act.

And the donor is right here among us.

In a world so much in need of peace, of calm, we are very fortunate to have learned about Gianna Graw. 

And from her amazing kindness, we should all take away that despite all the negativity we face on a daily basis, hope still remains.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.