Gift of Life Michigan calls for action as Michigan Organ Donor Registry grows at the slowest pace since its founding

Senator Kevin Daly stands at a podium in front of a Check Your Heart banner on the Michigan Capitol steps

About 2,400 patients are waiting in Michigan this month for a life-saving organ transplant. The best way to save their lives is to grow the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. More than 90% of all registrations come from the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) asking the donor registration question when IDs and driver’s licenses are renewed. We thank MDOS for its years of commitment and support, but office visit changes due to COVID and the shift to fewer and more online transactions have had an unintended negative consequence on the Donor Registry. It’s now growing at its slowest pace since its inception in 1994.

Our part of the solution:

· Check Your Heart graphic showing driver's license with red heart organ donor symbolRegistration drive: Gift of Life Michigan is investing in the biggest donor registration drive in its 51-year history. Check Your Heart is a statewide marketing campaign, education program, and community outreach effort.

· Expanded partnerships: Community organizations and businesses have committed to including the donor registration question to their employees. If your company is interested in being a workplace partner, visit

· Education: Gift of Life is looking to expand education outreach efforts regarding organ, eye and tissue donation to students in every Michigan high school through our award-winning All of Us program.

We need help from Michigan legislators to support these life-saving initiatives:

· Michigan Organ Donor Registry Database: Funding to improve how the Donor Registry receives data, making it easier for residents to sign up online.

· Patient Access to Donor Registry Information bill: This bill will help family doctors and urgent care centers educate patients and their families about organ, tissue and bone marrow donation.

· Proposal for organ donor education in high schools: Gift of Life is seeking to add organ and tissue donation instruction to the health and/or science curriculum in public high schools in Michigan. Indiana, Ohio and Illinois already include organ and tissue donation education in high school health and/or science curriculums. Three women showing an anatomical display with plastic organs and handout materials

· Other proposals supported by Gift of Life:

· Tax credit to offset costs for organ donors.

· Adding the Donor Registry question and registration information to the Michigan Income Tax form.


Read more in the Gift of LifeLINES newsletter

Read More Posts
Donor Mother Teena Smith (left) and heart recipient Sharon Culbreath.

“It’s like I have a new family now”

Michigan woman meets son’s heart recipient Two years after her son died, Teena Smith heard…

Read More
Elderly woman smiling at the camera from behind a large bouquet of flowers

Family grateful for 101-year-old mother’s legacy as tissue donor

“I’m just proud she was able to do that”  Bert Steck was surprised to learn…

Read More
woman smiling at camera

Staff Spotlight: For a decade, Stephanie Sommer has been the face of Gift of Life for MEs and funeral homes

Stephanie Sommer has visited more medical examiner offices in Michigan than most medical examiners. And…

Read More
A woman with long brunette hair in a white dress and a man in a blue shirt and khakis stand arm-in-arm

Tracy and Holly: a Love Story

Tracy Gary and Holly Werlein-Gary almost never met, but fate and transplantation intervened. They both…

Read More
Michigan Department of Natural Resources logo

Gift of Life Michigan, DNR team up to save lives

New partnership will ask hunters, anglers to ‘Check Your Heart’ Hunters and anglers in Michigan…

Read More
Graphic celebrating 1 million organ transplants, with Gift of Life Michigan and United Network for Organ Sharing logos

U.S. reaches historic milestone of 1 million organ transplants

Gift of Life Michigan joins national ‘Living it Forward’ initiative to advance next million Ann…

Read More
Scroll to Top