Hundreds to gather for celebration of organ, eye and tissue donation at state Capitol

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LANSING, Mich. – People from across the state are expected to converge at the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 18, to celebrate the miracle of organ, eye and tissue transplantation. It will also be a day to express sorrow and gratitude for the thousands who have died and selflessly donated to save and improve the lives of others.

The second Donate Life Capitol Celebration in downtown Lansing is open to the public and will bring together hundreds of donor families, transplant recipients and patients waiting for a chance to live again. The 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. gathering is intended to promote organ, tissue and eye donation. Free lunch will be provided.

The first celebration in 2011 drew about 400 people. As many as 1,000 people are expected this year with buses shuttling attendees from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak and Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

WLNS Channel 6 anchor Sheri Jones will emcee.

Three key events will mark the day:

10 a.m. at Karoub & Associates, 121 W. Allegan – The family of a 19-year-old organ donor will meet recipients of her lung and kidney for the first time. Media are invited. The family will then lead the Procession of Honor just before noon.

11:50 a.m. – Procession of Honor to the Capitol steps by hundreds of donor family members, transplant recipients and patients waiting for transplants. This procession of honor will symbolize both the miracle of donation and its ability to save lives and the incredible need in Michigan and elsewhere. More than 3,100 critically ill people are waiting in this state today for a transplant to save their lives.

Noon – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will talk about the success of the Michigan Organ Donor Registry since she took office in 2011, and the continuing need for more people to join the registry.
A moment of silence to remember those who died and gave the gift of life to others.

The event is organized by Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye-Bank, the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan and the Michigan Donor Family Council. Representatives of key donation hospitals and transplant centers statewide also will attend the celebration. More than 15 vendors will be in attendance.

Anyone interested in adding their name to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry should go to https://giftoflifemichigan.org/ and click on “become a donor.”

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