Gift of Life Michigan Blog
Rebecca Anderson has been able to watch her daughter get married, graduate from Michigan State University and earn a master’s degree. She has traveled to the Mediterranean and celebrated her 30th anniversary with her husband, Rex.
Heather Luchies had long known she would need a kidney transplant. Fortunately, when the time came, a donor was closer than she had anticipated. In fact, she had married him nearly two decades earlier.
Katy Rozman has a message for young transplant recipients or young people waiting for a new life-saving organ: you are not alone.
“Sometimes all we need is someone to relate to and I don't always think that's available – especially for transplant kids,” she said.
Murphy Ainsworth was always fit, healthy and active – an energetic athlete who is remembered by family and friends as positive and carefree, with an easy-going smile.
“He was really loved by everybody,” said his father, Tom. “He took the best of me and his mother. You really couldn’t have asked for a better kid. I’m proud of everything he did.”
Aimee Cruz would be the first person to tell you she’s lucky to be alive. Originally from Puerto Rico, the Ann Arbor resident has had three liver transplants in her life and is grateful for every day.
Leah Howell celebrates two birthdays on the same day every year. One is hers, the other is her donated kidney, which she received the day after her birthday more than 16 years ago. She named her ultimate gift “Joey.”
“I’m not really sure where the name came from,” she said. “I think I was joking one day and referred to him by name. Ever since then, Joey gets birthday cards. He’s part of the family.”
Gift of Life Michigan wants to honor those who make a significant impact in the donation and transplant community, and we need your help.
Stephen May had three words that he lived by: Everybody Love Everybody.
He initially took it from the 2008 Will Ferrell movie Semi- Pro, but he fully adopted it into his life at Rockford High School, with the sports teams he played on and in the youth leagues where he served as a referee.
Kay Walters just celebrated her 70th birthday. Later this year, she’ll mark an even more significant milestone: her 24th year living with a donated heart.
“I can’t believe I’m this old,” she said with a laugh. “No one would ever believe that I was 70, that I would get to it.”