ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Gift of Life Michigan helped make it possible for 1,130 people to become heroes in 2015 by donating organs and tissues to patients in need.
Those donors gave 875 organs, each one representing a life saved. They also donated bone, skin, heart valves and other tissues that helped tens of thousands of recipients lead better, healthier lives.
“As the waiting list for organs continues to grow past 3,500 patients, it’s more important than ever for people to commit to helping others through donation,” said Richard Pietroski, chief executive officer of Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization. “On behalf of the recipients, we thank the donors and their families who gave precious gifts in 2015 so others could live.”
There were 966 tissue donors in 2015, including a record 121 in December.
“Tissue donation is critical,” said Pietroski, a tissue recipient himself. “Those transplants relieve so much pain, help ensure healing and restore mobility and independence for thousands.”
Other accomplishments in 2015:
- Nearly 348,000 people joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. More than 54 percent of adults in the state – over 4 million people – are now registered organ donors. That number of adults on the registry has doubled since 2010.
- There were 285 organ donors and 966 tissue donors (including some who also donated organs).
- Gift of Life’s $14.3 million expansion is nearly complete, with plans to open the new facility in the spring. The building houses a surgical center that will help the organization better fulfill its mission to save and improve lives through donation and transplantation. The project connects two buildings into one complex on Gift of Life’s 6.5-acre campus in south Ann Arbor.
Gift of Life Michigan acts as the intermediary between donors, their families, hospital staff and transplant centers. It also promotes the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. To join, go to https://giftoflifemichigan.org/.