Record numbers of organ, tissue donors save lives in 2019

137_2019-ye_facebook_1200x630

Generosity of Gift of Life Michigan donors benefitted thousands

For the second straight year, Gift of Life Michigan helped facilitate a record number of organ donors and tissue donors, whose gifts will save and improve the lives of tens of thousands of people in the state and beyond. In 2019 Gift of Life Michigan facilitated organ donations from 341 people and 1,598 donated tissues. 1,056 organs were transplanted from Michigan donors.

In all, 341 people donated organs and 1,598 donated tissue at the end of their lives. The numbers mark the sixth consecutive year of increased donations by Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ and tissue recovery program. In total, 1,056 organs were transplanted from Michigan donors; it was the second consecutive year that more than 1,000 organs were transplanted.

“We are proud of these successes but recognize that each donor represents a family mourning the loss of a loved one,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life. “We are so grateful for their generosity and hope they find additional comfort, knowing these gifts have helped save and improve lives.”

Reed LaHaie of Lowell was one of Michigan’s donors. The three-year-old died following a car crash that also killed his mother in March 2019. His grandparents, Doug and Pam Reed, made the decision to help others. “In the wake of our family tragedy, donating our grandson’s organs was the only positive outcome,” they said. “Knowing that his donations helped many people to continue to live their lives is an amazing legacy for him to leave. He will forever be our little hero.”

Londel Cook, 35, of Saginaw, is one of the hundreds of Michigan residents saved through donation and transplantation last year. He received a new kidney.

“My gratitude for (my donor) and his entire family is unmatched,” Cook said. “Words will never be able to express my love and appreciation for what they have done for my life. And an incredible thanks to Gift of Life Michigan for making this possible for me and so many others.”

In 2019, Gift of Life added 350,000 new names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry through partnerships with the Michigan Secretary of State, a “Let’s Talk” initiative to reach out to multicultural communities, and events like the Health Occupation Student Association (HOSA) challenge and the Campus Challenge. There are about 4.5 million registered organ, tissue and eye donors in the state.

At the end of 2019, some 2,854 patients in Michigan were waiting for an organ transplant.

“Saying ‘yes’ to donation is becoming the norm in Michigan,” Dils said. “At the same time, there are still far too many people needing a life-saving organ transplant here and across the country. At Gift of Life, our core purpose is that we honor life through donation, so we are trying to do everything possible to provide this opportunity for families and to give hope to patients who desperately need these gifts.”

About Gift of Life
Gift of Life Michigan is a federally designated organ procurement organization that serves the state of Michigan as the intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff. In collaboration with Eversight, Gift of Life provides all services necessary for organ, eye and tissue donation. For more information, or to sign up on the Donor Registry, visit www.golm.org or call 866.500.5801.

Read More Posts
Artelia Griggs and Donnie Parker wave as they finish the 5K walk

LIFE Walk returns to historic Belle Isle for 25th year

Thousands attend event celebrating life, organ and tissue donation The annual LIFE Walk/Run drew nearly…

Read More
Transplant athlete signs Transplant Games of America flag

Team Michigan heads to San Diego for the Donate Life Transplant Games

Camaraderie, fellowship highlight biennual competition for transplant recipients Mike Roman of Berkley admits he probably…

Read More
Donor father John Edmond at the podium on the Capitol Steps with a Check Your Heart banner behind him

Donation supporters rally for “Check Your Heart” at Michigan capitol

Legislators, transplant recipients, donor families urge Michiganders to ‘Check Your Heart’  There was a clear…

Read More
Patrick Price, a bearded Black man with glasses in a blue suit, stands in front of a birthday cake and smiles at the camera

Saginaw man determined to regain health, mobility

Minorities often wait longer for organ transplants  Patrick Price is hoping he will one day…

Read More
Donate Life Day at the Zoo flyer

Donate Life Day at the Zoo celebrates organ donors, transplant recipients and life

Gift of Life’s largest outreach event returns to the popular John Ball Zoo in Grand…

Read More
Check Your Heart Capitol Rally with image of Michigan Capitol Building

Check Your Heart Rally at state capitol will advocate for action

Gift of Life Michigan and its partners, volunteers, donor families, and recipients are gathering in…

Read More
Scroll to Top