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Angel wings mural in downtown Bay City in support of Gift of Life Michigan
Featured | July 12, 2024

Raising the wings of awareness

For years Brad Gohr watched as his mother, Charmaine Neymeiyer, battled Autoimmune Hepatitis, a disease that slowly attacked her liver. After years of her health fluctuating, she was added to the wait list for a…

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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
Blog, 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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101-year-old Katherine Steck holding a flower arrangement. Katherine donated tissues after her passing.
Blog, LifeLines | October 10, 2022

Maximum Age for Organ 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, 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, 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, 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
Blog, 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
Blog, 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 | 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
Blog, 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
Blog, LifeLines | 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, LifeLines | July 26, 2022

Make a Difference with Your Company through Organ Donation Awareness

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, 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
Blog, LifeLines | 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, 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, 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

One Donor Can Possibly Save How Many Lives?

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, 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, LifeLines | 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, 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
Blog, LifeLines | 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
| 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, LifeLines | 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, LifeLines | 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
Blog, LifeLines | 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, 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
Blog, LifeLines | 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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woman seated at desk, working on computer while wearing a surgical mask
Blog, LifeLines | April 22, 2022

Staff Spotlight: Tragedies and legacies

Autumn Harris guides families in crisis as their loved ones save and transform lives. The young wife of a dying man asks his nurse about organ donation and Autumn Harris is right there with answers…

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white couple posed together and looking at camera
Blog | April 22, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Remembering Kenton Kurth

Volunteer honored posthumously for work with Gift of Life Michigan Kenton Kurth never met a stranger. “He never met anyone he didn’t like, and I don’t think anyone didn’t like him,” said Sarah Kurth, his…

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Two well-dressed women stand in front of "Check Your Heart" banner
| 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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Woman holding sign saying "My Kidney Recipient" with arrow pointing at man, who is holding sign with arrow pointing at her saying "My Living Donor"
Blog | April 7, 2022

‘It gave him eight good years with his loved ones’

Goodrich woman donated kidney to long-time family friend Goodrich, MI – With an act of incredible generosity and kindness, Lynette Bailey gave a long-time family friend the most precious gift of all: time. Lynette, now…

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Blue heart-shaped mascot at podium with American and Michigan flags behind them
Blog | March 29, 2022

Gift of Life Michigan Introduces Chief Mascot

Gift of Life Michigan welcomes Hartley T. Heart. Hartley is Gift of Life Michigan’s newest employee, providing a light-hearted (pun intended) opportunity to engage people in a life-saving message. Hartley was designed as a fun…

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Armond Baskin and his family. Armond is on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant.
Blog | March 2, 2022

Flint man juggles work, family and kidney dialysis while waiting for a transplant

March is National Kidney Month Armond Baskin knew he had high blood pressure, but he didn’t know how serious it was. Diagnosed more than 20 years ago, the Flint man, now 40, thought he was…

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Monitor showing organ function for lungs inside TransMedic machine
Blog | February 16, 2022

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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| 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, LifeLines | 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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Three women holding award
Blog | January 21, 2022

Gift of Life Michigan earns top national awards for three community outreach programs

Gift of Life Michigan was thrilled to receive three Pinnacle Awards from Donate Life America in 2021 for some of the best community outreach programs in the nation.
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Man and woman in evening wear
Blog, LifeLines | January 21, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Scott Campbell shares message of hope after 2nd heart transplant

“All I want to do is volunteer and help out,” advocate says.   Scott Campbell never let his condition slow him down – even after his second heart transplant. Born with self-corrected transposition of the…

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Blog, LifeLines | January 21, 2022

Staff Spotlight: Leader in the Lab

Nilam Patel and her colleagues in Gift of Life Michigan’s Laboratory are medical matchmakers in the intricate organ donation process that transpires over a series of days and ends with lives saved. 
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Two men and a woman with their arms around each other in front of a diner
Blog, LifeLines | January 21, 2022

Foundation Focus: Hockey with Heart

Anyone who knew Cody Baron would expect to see his picture beside the words ‘selfless’ and ‘generous’ in the dictionary.   “He lived each of his days with joy, laughter, and vigor,” said his mother, Wendy…

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woman at computer with Great Place to Work banner
Blog, LifeLines | January 21, 2022

Point of Pride: Gift of Life earns prestigious Great Place to Work distinction

Being certified as a Great Place to Work is always an honor, but we feel especially honored after navigating the challenges presented in 2021. The Great Places to Work distinction shows that we’ve been able to provide our employees with an environment that supports them and their commitment to our mission. We’re so proud of that!
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