Gift of Life Michigan and its partners, volunteers, donor families, and recipients are gathering in June at the state capitol building in Lansing to celebrate life and push for continued progress.
The June 21 Check Your Heart Rally – open to all – is intended to honor donors and their families, celebrate new life for transplant recipients, and lend hope to those who are waiting.
“This is a chance for us all to come together to celebrate new life, and also talk about what must still be done for patients who continue to wait for news that their lives will change forever,” said Patrick Wells-O’Brien, Gift of Life’s vice president of communications and outreach. “The donor registry must grow, and we’re committed to making that happen in Michigan.”
The event will kick off at 11 a.m. with tables and booths on the lawn giving attendees an opportunity to learn from Gift of Life, its partners in the healthcare industry and in the donation and transplant community. A Donate Life flag will also be displayed and available for signing as a show of support and commitment.
A noon program emceed by veteran news anchor Sheri Jones from WLNS TV 6 News will highlight Gift of Life’s statewide Check Your Heart campaign, the largest marketing blitz ever for the organization.
The goal is to add 1 million names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry to help decrease the waiting list for organ transplants, which currently stands at about 2,500 critically ill patients.
Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan will be joined on the steps by donor families, transplant recipients, and patients on the waiting list who are in attendance, as she talks about the critical need to encourage more residents to register.
Special guests John Edmond and Mike Lopez will talk about their special connection. Mike Lopez received a liver from 7-year-old Amaia Edmond – John’s daughter – after she died during a Lansing home invasion more than a decade ago. The city has since declared May 31 Amaia Edmond Day.
“As we all come together as a compassionate, motivated donation community for this, we hope to inspire others to help us save more lives,” Wells-O’Brien said.
Lunch will be provided while supplies last.