50th Anniversary

Gift of Life Michigan has touched thousands of lives since its inception in 1971, bringing the hope of healing and a second chance at life for people throughout Michigan and across the U.S.

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Donated heart grants Highland Township man 11,520 extra days

A lot of people called Jim Pixley ‘the Miracle Man,’ because of all the things he went through and everything he accomplished. Pixley, of Highland Township, passed away on April 28, 2020 at the age…

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50 Stories to Honor 50 Years

The stories from people who have been saved, and from the families of donors who so generously provided these gifts of life, are always touching, bittersweet and inspirational.

Please join us in honoring 50 years of lives saved by reading and sharing some of the stories (below) that touched the lives and hearts of so many people.

Donated heart grants Highland Township man 11,520 extra days

A lot of people called Jim Pixley ‘the Miracle Man,’ because of all the things he went through and everything he accomplished. Pixley, of Highland Township, passed away on April 28, 2020 at the age…

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‘I woke up, and I felt whole’

Donated tissue allows breast cancer survivor to quickly resume life, activity   With a history of breast cancer in her family, Sue Pilon was not about to take chances when she was diagnosed with the…

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Man at barbeque grill

‘I wanted some good to come from it’

Muskegon mother marks two-year-anniversary of son’s death, organ donation Muskegon, MI – Amanda Garza has a printed version of the last text she received from her son, Nathanael. It reads: “I’m just thinking of you…

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‘I felt brand new’

When Michael Love started to experience shortness of breath, the Southfield resident said he thought it’d be easy to treat.   He was 50 years old at the time and noticed he had been slowing…

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Heart Transplant Recipient Breaks Down Cultural Barriers

Sometimes, life throws you a curveball. Mohamed El-Souri knows this better than most people. The 18-year-old Dearborn resident was a healthy, active teen who fell very ill while he was in high school. Doctors initially diagnosed him with pneumonia, but it turned out there was nothing wrong with his lungs – his heart was failing and he needed a new one.
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African American man in red chef uniform

Two-time kidney recipient inspires others to lead healthier lives

One minute Oliver Hale was on top of the world, the next he was flat on his back. Hale, a Kentwood resident, had just won his first United States Tennis Association tournament in 1983 and…

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‘I didn’t even know it was possible.’

Dominick Anastasi is back to playing catch and coaching his sons in basketball, baseball and football. He’s grateful for the experience, considering a year ago, he was too weak to even throw a baseball. Initially…

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Minorities face longer wait, tougher odds for organ donors

Jean Washington is now in a group that has far too many members: she’s waiting for a life-saving organ. Washington, 48, of Southfield, had been concerned about a general sense of fatigue last year and…

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50 fo fifty, Her spirit is truly alive

‘She had a higher purpose’

July 22, 2010, John Edmond got the call every parent dreads.
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Brotherly love: donated kidney provides second chance at life

Earl James has some advice for men who are inclined to ignore the typical aches and pains that come with age: ignore them at your peril.
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‘His heart is still beating; it’s beating for someone else’

Alex-Michael Springer fought through some adversity in his life and had a bright future ahead of him. When a tragedy cut his life short at the age of 24, a decision he made when he was younger saved the lives of five people.
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Fifty for 50 Robert and Wayne

‘My son lives on in others and he’s always going to live in me’

William Wayne McGee IV was known by several nicknames, including ‘Ugg,’ and ‘Fat Daddy.’ His mother, and at least one of the people he saved when his life was tragically cut short at the age of 33, have another nickname for him, too: ‘God’s Gift.’
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A journey of faith

Farmington Hills, MI – Dale Milford has always been a man of strong faith, but he said his transplant journey – or, more accurately, journeys – elevated his calling. After three liver transplants, he said…

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‘She’s like another daughter’

Jud Lynch knew he would need two things: a haircut and a kidney transplant. The 68-year-old Grand Rapids man just didn’t expect to get them both from the same person. He was diagnosed with IGA…

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‘It’s a miracle, top to bottom. No doubt about it.’

Two decades ago, Mark Otto would’ve been happy to gain just one more year of life. Then 34, his liver was failing and he was plagued by chronically itchy skin. He was jaundiced and extremely…

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