50 Stories for 50 Years

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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‘Mary’s spirit will always live on, and it’s a beautiful thing’

Chad Milton knows the spirit of his late wife lives on – he’s even heard proof. A traffic accident claimed Mary Milton in 2016, shortly after the 43-year-old left their home to go to the…

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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.

‘I just tell people: think of your loved ones.’

Katy Rozman has a message for young transplant recipients or young people waiting for a new life-saving organ: you are not alone. “Sometimes all we need is someone to relate to and I don’t always…

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‘He was a giver all his life’

Murphy Ainsworth was always fit, healthy and active – an energetic athlete who is remembered by family and friends as positive and carefree, with an easy-going smile. “He was really loved by everybody,” said his…

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Aimee Cruz, two-time liver transplant recipient, smiles for the camera in front of a white brick wall

‘I see life in a different way now’

Aimee Cruz would be the first person to tell you she’s lucky to be alive. Originally from Puerto Rico, the Ann Arbor resident has had three liver transplants in her life and is grateful for…

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‘It changes the way you look at everything’

Leah Howell celebrates two birthdays on the same day every year. One is hers, the other is her donated kidney, which she received the day after her birthday more than 16 years ago. She named…

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Teen leaves legacy of kindness, faith and healing

Stephen May had three words that he lived by: Everybody Love Everybody. He initially took it from the 2008 Will Ferrell movie Semi- Pro, but he fully adopted it into his life at Rockford High…

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Donated heart grants Lansing woman 24 years of added life, and counting

Kay Walters just celebrated her 70th birthday. Later this year, she’ll mark an even more significant milestone: her 24th year living with a donated heart. “I can’t believe I’m this old,” she said with a…

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Decision to donate is a ‘silver lining’ for Michigan family

‘It’s been the thing that’s kept me going,’ daughter says Marty Townsend never met a stranger. “He could talk to anybody,” said his daughter, Kimberly. “He was just friendly with everybody. He could take a…

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Faith, family and friends help Canton mom triumph over hardship

Last year marked a new beginning for Keisha Dulin. The 41-year-old Canton resident is continuing to heal after receiving a new heart in 2020 – after four years waiting for a new one. “I am…

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‘My son. My Bobby. My hero.’

Robert “Bobby” Ramos was a hard worker with a creative side. “He was always doing something creative,” his father, Robert, said of his son, who died at the age of 23 from a head injury…

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Kidney transplant allows teen to graduate high school

Last year, Acacia Walter-Rooks accomplished something she wasn’t sure she’d be able to do: graduate high school. Now a freshman at Calvin University, Walter-Rooks had both of her kidneys removed when she was a child…

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Kidney recipient finds purpose in post-transplant advocacy

‘There’s a reason for it, and I think my reason is to help others.’ When a severe headache sent Sonya Cook to the doctor, she hardly expected a life-changing diagnosis. “I never had headaches before,…

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Gift of Life Michigan launches #50for50 campaign to honor anniversary

Gift of Life Michigan is celebrating a milestone this year: the 50th anniversary of our founding. Founded in 1971 by four surgeons who wanted to develop a more efficient way to get life-saving organs to…

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