Rally in Lansing will celebrate new legislation placing donor registry question on state income tax forms

A large group gathered on the Michigan Capitol steps holding signs recognizing them as donor families, transplant recipients and those waiting to live.

Check Your Heart Act would be first of its kind in the nation

As many as 400 people in Michigan’s organ and tissue donation and transplant community will converge on the lawn of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing on Tuesday for an inspiring rally and March of Honor.

The event will celebrate new legislation expected to pass the state Senate this week or next. The Check Your Heart Act would give Michigan residents another way to sign up as organ and tissue donors, helping grow the registry of residents willing to help others.

The gathering of donor families, living donors, transplant recipients, and patients waiting for transplants also will feature an emotional March of Honor at noon.

The rally will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Capitol building at 100 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing.

The Check Your Heart Act, which has had bipartisan support, will place the donation registration question on all state income tax forms in 2024 for the 2023 tax year. Currently, the only way to register as an organ and tissue donor in Michigan is through the Secretary of State.

“We can’t wait to thank state legislators for providing one more way for residents to add their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry,” said Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “We also will thank donors and their families, celebrate life for transplant recipients, and give hope to those who continue to wait.”

Scheduled speakers include Debra Wyant, the mother of Michigan’s first and only hand donor.

Wyant’s daughter, Shayna Sturtevant of Norton Shores, died of a brain abscess in 2016. Sturtevant, a registered donor, became an organ and tissue donor. Her mother also gave consent for her hands to be donated to someone whose hands were amputated, allowing them to regain their independence.

Individuals can still register for the rally, but registration isn’t required.

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