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how to become an organ donor
Featured | December 1, 2022

How to Become an Organ Donor

Organ donation is one of the best medical advancements of the contemporary era. Unfortunately, organ demand is significantly greater than the number of organs available. Organ donation registration is easy. You can sign up to…

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Female doctor holding open chart looking at the camera
News | February 3, 2023

Donor Registry Awareness Bill introduced in Michigan

House Bill 4060 would increase awareness, provide education on organ and tissue donation State Reps. Lori M. Stone (D-Warren) and Penelope Tsernoglou (D-East Lansing) introduced House Bill 4060 Wednesday. This legislation would encourage physicians at…

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Vickie Figeroa stands in front of several pews and stained glass windows
Let's Talk, News | February 3, 2023

Heart recipient adopts second mission: Advocating for organ, tissue donation

“I always tell people to sign up,” Grosse Pointe Woods woman says Vickie Figueroa makes her living ensuring that people of Black, Hispanic and Native American heritage are included in the Catholic Church and cared…

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Two Black men at an information table sharing facts about organ donation
Blog, Gift of LifeLines | January 31, 2023

Don’t Let Misinformation About Organ Donation Affect Your Decisions

Don’t let misinformation about organ and tissue donation affect your decision to sign up as a donor and leave a legacy of kindness and generosity. Please consider this credible, accurate information as you make your…

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A woman sits on a pew inside a chapel with her hands clasped together in prayer
Blog, Let's Talk | January 22, 2023

Most Common Organ Donation Myth

Most common myth: Doctors won’t work to save your life if you register to be an organ donor. It’s just not true. A terrified Terra DeFoe waited and watched in 2014 as doctors at Michigan…

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Two cartoon hearts with smiling faces high-fiving each other.
Blog | January 11, 2023

National Donor Day 2023

When is National Donor Day 2023? February 14 is a special day in the U.S. We all know it’s Valentine’s Day, but did you know it’s also National Donor Day? What is National Donor Day?…

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Blue, white and green infographic showing 2022: A Record Year with 463 organ donors and 1,821 tissue donors
News | January 9, 2023

Gift of Life Michigan sets record for organ, tissue donors in 2022

Gift of Life Michigan helped a record 463 people become organ donors and 1,821 give the gift of tissue last year, saving thousands of lives and healing tens of thousands more. The 2022 figures represent…

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can family override organ donation
Blog | January 8, 2023

Can Family Override Organ Donation

Many prospective organ donors sometimes have concerns about whether their families may attempt to override their decision to donate after death.  Although the majority of loved ones are committed to honoring decisions of the deceased,…

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who can donate a kidney
Blog | January 8, 2023

Who Can Donate a Kidney?

More than 90,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney transplant, so deciding to become a kidney donor can save lives. If you are considering becoming a donor for a family, friend, or even a stranger,…

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what organs can be donated
Blog | January 8, 2023

What Organs Can Be Donated

Organ donation and transplantation is one of greatest modern medical advances, saving thousands of lives every year in this country.  Donors and their families secure lasting legacies by giving new life to those in desperate…

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Portrait of Krishna and Pamela Sawhney
Let's Talk, News | December 22, 2022

Bloomfield Hills couple pledges $125,000 to Gift of Life Michigan

Donation will support award-winning youth education program Pamela and Krishna Sawhney of Bloomfield Hills have donated $125,000 over five years to Gift of Life Michigan to support the organization’s award-winning student education program, All of…

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News | December 9, 2022

Legislation prohibits discrimination in organ transplant system

HB 4762 protects disabled patients, helps save lives Legislation approved in the Michigan House of Representatives today will help ensure equity within the organ transplant system in the state. House Bill 4762, sponsored by State…

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how to become an organ donor
Blog | December 1, 2022

How to Become an Organ Donor

Organ donation is one of the best medical advancements of the contemporary era. Unfortunately, organ demand is significantly greater than the number of organs available. Organ donation registration is easy. You can sign up to…

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Older couple standing in front of their house, arm in arm
Blog, Stories of Hope | November 23, 2022

After kidney and liver transplant, Michigan man is back out hunting

Rob Rudzki is living proof of the good organ donation can do. More than seven years after a kidney and liver transplant, Rob is still healthy, back out bow-hunting, and spending quality time with his…

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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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National Hispanic Heritage Month | Gift of Life Michigan
Blog | October 25, 2022

Hispanic Heritage Month Sept-Oct

National Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the contributions of Hispanic Americans as well as the histories and unique cultures of the American Latino community. It runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and features diverse activities and…

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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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what is the age limit for organ donation
Blog, Gift of LifeLines | October 10, 2022

What is the Age Limit for Organ & Tissue Donation?

Bert Steck was surprised to learn that his mother, Katherine, was a candidate for tissue donation. She was, after all, 101 years, five months, and three days old when she died in August 2022. “I’m…

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CEO Dorrie Dils talks to a small group standing in front of the new donor process mural at Gift of Life Michigan
Blog | October 10, 2022

New murals and displays educate and move visitors at Gift of Life Michigan

Foundation generously supports project to honor donors and celebrate recipients A stroll down the long hallway of Gift of Life’s Donor Care Center in Ann Arbor is giving visitors a look at how donation works…

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Man at podium in front of extra large screen showing photo of a little girl and her name, Amaia
Blog, Stories of Hope | October 10, 2022

Lansing father of 7-year-old donor presents award to producers of popular ‘Chicago Med’ in Hollywood

Donate Life Hollywood reached out to Gift of Life Michigan and one other organ procurement organization this year asking for help. The donation advocacy group asked Gift of Life to nominate a donor family to…

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woman smiling at camera
Blog, Gift of LifeLines | October 10, 2022

Staff Spotlight: For a decade, Stephanie Sommer has been the face of Gift of Life for MEs and funeral homes

Stephanie Sommer has visited more medical examiner offices in Michigan than most medical examiners. And then there are the funeral homes. Her work as senior medical examiner (ME) and funeral home liaison is about clearing…

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Woman holding a round floragraph with the image of her daughter on it
Blog, Stories of Hope | October 10, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Longtime volunteer honors her daughter by teaching others about donation

Artelia Griggs helps save lives by telling everyone she can about organ and tissue donation. She also does it as a loving tribute to her own daughter’s legacy of giving.  “It’s been a wonderful thing…

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A woman with long brunette hair in a white dress and a man in a blue shirt and khakis stand arm-in-arm
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, Stories of Hope | October 10, 2022

Tracy and Holly: a Love Story

Tracy Gary and Holly Werlein-Gary almost never met, but fate and transplantation intervened. They both nearly died before finding each other and are now making the most out of their second chance at life. They’re…

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Blog, Let's Talk, Stories of Hope | October 7, 2022

Fenton couple draws on experience to promote organ donation

‘I wasn’t afraid of dying. There’s always hope,’ lung transplant recipient says
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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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Mustafa Sharafi reading
Blog | September 6, 2022

Minority Donor Awareness Month

In a collaborative endeavor by the National (Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation) Multicultural Action Group (NMAG), National Minority Donor Awareness Month strives to educate and inspire multicultural communities to consider organ donation. NMDA members include…

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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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Municipal clerk holding map of Michigan
Blog, Gift of LifeLines | July 26, 2022

Does your company or organization want to help save lives?

Gift of Life wants to partner with workplaces, community organizations, and municipal clerks to promote donation, break down myths and misconceptions and ask employees or constituents to “Check Your Heart” to make sure they’re registered as organ, eye and tissue donors and, if not, to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.  
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Justin Shilling, who was killed at the Oxford High School shooting in November 2021 and became an organ and tissue donor
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, Stories of Hope | July 26, 2022

Mom helps Oxford High School students remember friend and classmate who saved six lives

Justin Shilling’s legacy as an organ and tissue donor is helping his mother navigate the depths of her grief. She wanted something for his 1,900 classmates, too. The Oxford High School senior was one of…

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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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Slide featuring Anne Kowalczyk, Gift of Life's long-time Chief Financial Officer
Blog | July 25, 2022

Gift of Life veteran leader receives national Lifetime Achievement award

After more than three decades in leadership at Gift of Life Michigan, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) has recognized Anne Kowalczyk with its Lifetime Achievement award. Gift of Life’s recently retired CFO was…

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Todd Hart in scrubs sitting in a survival flight helicopter
Blog, Gift of LifeLines | July 22, 2022

Staff Spotlight: Todd Hart is responsible for organs on their journey to transplant

Todd Hart saves lives by taking care of organs from the second they leave the donor until the moment they reach the recipient prepped for a lifesaving transplant. As an Organ Recovery Specialist at Gift…

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Blog, Gift of LifeLines, Stories of Hope | July 22, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Recipient launches charity, raises money in honor of 20th anniversary of her lung transplant

Ronda Harrison never thought she’d live to see 50.   Born with cystic fibrosis (CF), the Spring Lake woman said she always knew her life had an early expiration date.   “I have always known I…

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How many lives can an organ donor save?
Blog | July 18, 2022

How Many Lives Can an Organ Donor Save?

With more than 106,000 Americans currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, there’s no question that we need organ donors more than ever. Every day, 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant. What if…

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How to become an organ donor. SewCream. Gift of life Michigan
Blog | June 29, 2022

How to become an Organ Donor

Did you know that more than 106,000 Americans are currently on the organ transplant waiting list? For everyone who decides to become an organ donor, up to 75 individual lives can be dramatically improved– think…

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organ donor facts
Blog | June 8, 2022

Organ Donation Facts

Each day, people enter hospitals in dire need of organ transplants. These people need more than medication or surgery to recover from their conditions – they require organ transplants to survive. With the demand for…

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A woman standing in front of a red brick wall holding a framed photo of a young boy
Blog, Let's Talk, Stories of Hope | May 16, 2022

‘Organ donation was the right thing to do’

Muslim donor mom encourages conversation about organ and tissue donation: “We need to talk about it,” Nameer said. “You’re doing the most honorable thing in the world. You’re giving life to someone.”
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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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Newborn baby wrapped in orange towel with headband
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, Stories of Hope | April 27, 2022

Born a hero

Jade Townsend spent a brief time on Earth and made a big difference Baby Jade came into the world with all odds against her and left with a legacy that now defines her. She lived…

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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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Graphic if a very diverse crowed of people with Gift of Life logo and "Better Together" headline, rainbow colors and many shades of brown at the bottom
Blog, Gift of LifeLines, Let's Talk | April 25, 2022

Better Together

Already recognized as a Great Place to Work, Gift of Life Michigan is taking steps to become even better.   The organization’s Better Together work group, which focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion, conducted a survey recently in which nearly half of Gift of Life’s staff submitted feedback about what they wanted to learn from the group.   
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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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screen shot of a Facebook Fundraiser in progress
Blog, Gift of LifeLines | April 22, 2022

Facebook Fundraisers are an easy way to support our mission and transplant recipients in need

One of the easiest ways to help the Gift of Life Foundation is with a Facebook Fundraiser for your birthday, or in honor or memory of a friend or family member.   It’s simple to set…

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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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