CRANFORD, NJ — As soon as Cynthia Kudron received a call from her fiance saying that paramedics were at her house in Cranford, she knew that her 25-year-old son, Christian Breskin, was gone.
“As I drove up my street, it was just very overwhelming to see fire trucks here, EMS, police,” Kudron recalled of Aug. 17, 2017. “It was like, ‘oh my gosh what is going on?’ I just didn’t understand it.”
Breskin had been found unconscious by his younger sister in his bedroom, after he overdosed on an unprescribed opioid, his mother told LocalSource. He spent five days on life support at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway before he died Aug. 22, 2017.
Despite Breskin’s death parts of him still live on since he was an organ donor. His heart, kidneys, corneas, liver, tissue and some bones have been donated, some to recipients as far as California, Kudron said.
Kudron is participating in NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Run/Walk in New Providence on Sunday, June 3, to raise awareness for the nonprofit that helped place her son’s donated organs with people in need.
“They continue staying there with you,” Kudron said of the NJ Sharing Network’s team. “Somebody passes away and then you’re left alone. But they’re there.”
Last year, the nonprofit organization raised $1.1 million through its fundraising events, which began in 2011. This year, it hopes to raise $1.25 million for research, family support and education about the benefits of organ donation. Kudron will be walking in the June event as captain of the Goobies team, in memory of her son. The team’s name is derived from the movie, “The Goonies,” one of Breskin’s favorites.
“This is tragic,” Kudron said. “I’m hoping some of his friends see this is what happened to him and I hope they’re cleaning up their act.”
Breskin grew up in Cranford, where he attended high school. He eventually graduated from Lincoln Tech and was working as an electrician, his mother said. He was a “big gamer” and had an interest in BMX biking and skating.
“We would go on vacation he would just start talking to people,” Kudron said. “He was just a very outgoing kid and he was a hard worker.”
Breskin was living at home with Kudron while working to become a master electrician. She said she had good communication with her son, and doesn’t believe he had an opioid addiction. She suspected he was experimenting with opioids as “a one-time thing.” She called his death a “total mistake.”
“He did have a marijuana problem, but it was subsiding,” she said. “Plus, he was being drug-tested anyway.”
Kudron, who works as a secretary for the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association in Woodbridge, said many people outside of her family aren’t aware of how her son died. She said when speaking at a recent PBA convention about her son and his organ donation, attendees were “all in shock.”
Kudron has been trying to move forward since her son’s death. She just cleaned out his bedroom last week and hopes to meet with some of the recipients of his organs one day.
“It really is a good thing to do,” she said of organ donation. “He ended up under a bad circumstance, but he ended up being a hero in the end because he saved a lot of lives.”
The NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Run/Walk in New Providence is a certified race. The run begins at 8:30 a.m. at 691 Central Ave. in New Providence, and the walk begins at 10 a.m. To learn more, visit www.njsharingnetwork.org/5k.