News

Find Gift of Life Michigan news and updates, as well as news relating to organ and tissue donation.

Donor Mother Teena Smith (left) and heart recipient Sharon Culbreath.
Featured | November 16, 2022

“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 his heart beating once again. Joseph Reaume died at 41 in 2020. Smith, along with Reaume’s three adult sons, agreed…

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Donor Mother Teena Smith (left) and heart recipient Sharon Culbreath.
News | November 16, 2022

“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 his heart beating once again. Joseph Reaume died at 41 in 2020. Smith, along with Reaume’s three adult sons, agreed…

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Senator Kevin Daly stands at a podium in front of a Check Your Heart banner on the Michigan Capitol steps
Gift of LifeLines, News | October 11, 2022

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

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…

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources logo
News | October 6, 2022

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 will now be asked a new question after they purchase or renew their licenses through the Michigan Department of Natural…

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Graphic celebrating 1 million organ transplants, with Gift of Life Michigan and United Network for Organ Sharing logos
News | September 9, 2022

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 Arbor, MI – The U.S. organ donation system has made history, surpassing 1 million organ transplants, according to the United…

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Blog, News | September 1, 2022

Foundation grant honors heart recipient who inspired many

  On Saturday, Aug. 27, a $10,000 grant was presented to the Gift of Life Foundation in honor of a Julia Evans, a heart recipient and cancer survivor, who inspired many. Sandy Chekal, an employee…

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Artelia Griggs and Donnie Parker wave as they finish the 5K walk
Gift of LifeLines, News | July 27, 2022

LIFE Walk returns to historic Belle Isle for 25th year

The annual LIFE Walk/Run drew nearly 2,500 people to Belle Isle in downtown Detroit for the event’s 25th anniversary honoring life, celebrating donor heroes and their families and promoting the Michigan Organ Donor registry.
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Transplant athlete signs Transplant Games of America flag
Gift of LifeLines, News | July 26, 2022

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

Team Michigan is participating in more than 20 competitions and 60 special events through Wednesday, Aug. 3 at the Transplant Games of America in San Diego. Competitions range from pickleball to golf and tennis, basketball, track and field events, Zumba, poker, cornhole, bowling, badminton, and much more. There are also quilt-pinning ceremonies, a parade, workshops, and an expo designed to promote organ and tissue donation and celebrate recipients and donors.
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Donor father John Edmond at the podium on the Capitol Steps with a Check Your Heart banner behind him
News | July 26, 2022

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

Supporters of organ and tissue donation, including transplant recipients, legislators, volunteers and more joined Gift of Life Michigan in Lansing to celebrate new life, honor donors and their families, and to urge others to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry at a Check Your Heart rally on the capitol steps.
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Patrick Price, a bearded Black man with glasses in a blue suit, stands in front of a birthday cake and smiles at the camera
Gift of LifeLines, Let's Talk, News | July 25, 2022

Saginaw man determined to regain health, mobility

Minorities often wait longer for organ transplants. Patrick Price is hoping he will one day receive a new kidney and return to the catering business he loves, but he knows he faces challenges getting there.   Patrick was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13, and lost a leg due to complications more than a decade ago. A recent surgery on his other heel means Patrick doesn’t meet the health requirements to be placed on the waiting list – a situation he is determined to overcome.  
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Donate Life Day at the Zoo flyer
News | July 25, 2022

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 Rapids on Aug. 13.  Donate Life Day at the Zoo returns to an in-person event after the primarily virtual platform…

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Check Your Heart Capitol Rally with image of Michigan Capitol Building
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, News | April 27, 2022

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 June at the state capitol building in Lansing to celebrate life and push for continued progress.  
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Female doctor holding open chart looking at the camera
Gift of LifeLines, News | April 26, 2022

New legislation encourages family doctors to educate about organ and tissue donation

New legislation introduced in April will help Michigan family doctors and urgent care centers provide patients with information about organ, tissue and bone marrow donation.
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National Donate Life Month logo
News | April 25, 2022

Donate Life Month encourages Michigan residents to sign up to be a donor

Gift of Life Michigan honors donors, recipients and volunteers during national observance April is National Donate Life Month, designed to raise awareness of the importance of registering as an organ, eye, and tissue donor to save…

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Surgeon works on donor lungs inside the TransMedics machine
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, News | April 25, 2022

Breaking the time barrier: organ care system preserves lungs outside the body

Gift of Life is using a new organ care system that preserves lungs outside the body and extends the amount of time from surgical recovery to transplantation. The TransMedics system also reconditions marginally healthy lungs after they’re connected to the machine, making more lungs healthy enough to transplant. The result: More lungs available and improved quality of the organs for recipients. Without this system, donated lungs must be transplanted within six hours. In these cases, transplants were successful after seven hours. One set of lungs was preserved for 23 hours.
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Woman presenting a blue and green glass award to another woman
Gift of LifeLines, News | April 25, 2022

Gift of Life Michigan honors champions of donation 

The fourth annual Champions Gala kicked off National Donate Life Month, with special tributes to the best of the best in Michigan’s donation and transplant community. Gift of Life Michigan honored 17 individuals, four partner organizations, and one hospital with 2022 Donation Champion awards, recognizing their extraordinary efforts to help fulfill the wishes of organ and tissue donors and their families. 
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brown teddy bear wearing a green Gift of Life logo shirt sitting on an afghan blanket
Gift of LifeLines, News | April 22, 2022

Honoring Life

Gift of Life Foundation launches first annual appeal  As Gift of Life Michigan battles the ever-present transplant waiting list and strives to add one million names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, resources for critical…

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Two well-dressed women stand in front of "Check Your Heart" banner
News | April 15, 2022

Gift of Life Michigan launches ‘Check Your Heart’ campaign

One million new registered donors sought within three years
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Monitor showing organ function for lungs inside TransMedic machine
News | February 16, 2022

Breaking the time barrier: new system extends life, viability of donated lungs

Gift of Life Michigan is now using a TransMedics Organ Care System (OCS) that will prolong the life of donated lungs – and even help recondition them – increasing the probability of a successful donor match and improving long-term health for recipients. Clinical trials are also under way for similar technology that would be used for donated livers, hearts, and kidneys.
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News | February 14, 2022

‘I don’t take a single day for granted’

Lansing woman advocates for organ, tissue donation on National Donor Day
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Woman seated on couch holding white stuffed animal with sequin heart
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, News | January 21, 2022

“I never knew what it was like to feel normal”

Marcia Toda recently heard her daughter’s heart beating, still strong, in the chest of 31-year-old Lauren Herrera. The two women met recently at the Gift of Life Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.
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