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Gift of Life Michigan Blog

Ralph Mutrynowski donated a kidney to his daughter, Kristen, about 7 years ago.

'He's my superhero'

Wed, June 16, 2021

Fathers and daughters often share a unique bond, but for Ralph and Kristen Mutrynowski, that connection is even stronger.

Becky Richard donated one of her kidneys to Jud Lynch

‘She’s like another daughter’

Fri, June 04, 2021

Jud Lynch knew he would need two things: a haircut and a kidney transplant. The 68-year-old Grand Rapids man just didn’t expect to get them both from the same person.

He was diagnosed with IGA nephropathy in his 20s, an autoimmune disease in which antibodies build up in the kidneys and cause scarring. It has no cure.

Mark Otto is celebrating 20 years with a donated liver.

'It's a miracle, top to bottom. No doubt about it.'

Fri, May 28, 2021

Two decades ago, Mark Otto would’ve been happy to gain just one more year of life. Then 34, his liver was failing and he was plagued by chronically itchy skin. He was jaundiced and extremely fatigued, sometimes sleeping 16 hours a day.

“It was about as bad as it could get in the end,” said Otto. “My surgeon told me I probably had a couple weeks to go.”

Candice and Thelma Desjarlais, sisters-in-law who share a kidney

Rick Springfield and a mountain top: Milford woman donates kidney to sister-in-law, with a few friendly caveats

Wed, May 19, 2021

Candice Desjarlais remembers the exact moment she decided to donate a kidney to her sister-in-law, Thelma.

Thelma had just finished a five-and-a-half hour dialysis treatment, with Candice sitting with her to keep her company. Candice said she was moved by the overall somber atmosphere in the clinic and the varying ages of the patients there. The decision was so spontaneous, Candice said she even surprised herself.

Nancy Banks said she is living proof of the good organ donation can do.

Kidney recipient says she is living proof of the good organ donation can do

Thu, May 13, 2021

Nancy Banks was just finishing up a dialysis treatment when her phone started to ring.

She didn’t recognize the number and was going to ignore it because the clinic had a strict no-calls policy. A staff member had a feeling about the 800-number, however, and advised her to answer. When she did, she received some of the best news of her life: a donor had generously gifted a kidney and it was a good match for her.

'Life is great, but living is greater'

Thu, May 06, 2021

Sarah Ann Scantamburlo has learned to live life to the fullest and make the most of whatever circumstances fate throws her way.

“I feel like so many people wait for tomorrow, what they deem as the perfect opportunity,” said Scantamburlo, a Novi resident. “But how do you know? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. There is no do over.”

Shane Sena saved five lives by donating his organs.

Benzie County man saves lives through donation

Thu, April 29, 2021

Shane Sena was dedicated to his family and friends and enjoyed working on cars.

“He was a big brother and a little brother. He was loved by his siblings. He doted on them,” said his mother, Marie. “He was very protective of them.”

Mohamed El-Souri pediatric transplant week

Heart transplant recipient breaks down cultural barriers

Fri, April 23, 2021

Sometimes, life throws you a curveball.

Mohamed El-Souri knows this better than most people. The 18-year-old Dearborn resident was a healthy, active teen who fell very ill while he was in high school. Doctors initially diagnosed him with pneumonia, but it turned out there was nothing wrong with his lungs – his heart was failing and he needed a new one.

A donated heart gave Rebecca Anderson a second chance at life.

Southgate woman celebrates new adventures, life milestones

Wed, April 14, 2021

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.

Todd Luchies donated a kidney to his wife, Heather.

Husband saves wife with donated kidney

Wed, April 07, 2021

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.

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