June 14, 2024

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Upcoming Check Your Heart Rally in Lansing encourages organ donation education, registration

3 min read

LANSING, Mich. – There are more than 100,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list. Of those, more than 2,400 are Michigan residents, according to Gift of Life Michigan.

Gift of Life Michigan will be holding their annual Check Your Heart rally, coming up on June 12, giving attendees information on how to join the donor registry. The rally will be held on the lawn of the State Capitol in Lansing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is encouraging new donation legislation which will help grow the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

The event will have speakers, including Jill Soave, mother of Justin Shilling who was killed in the Oxford High School shooting in 2021. Justin was a registered donor and he saved six lives.

Related: Justin Shilling’s mother talks about his life, death, decision to donate organs

“Only 21% of new drivers register as organ donors in Michigan, about half the percentage that other states receive,” said Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “We know it’s not because they’re less generous. We believe they’re lacking the valuable information needed to make that life-saving decision and we’re committed to helping them learn.”

This year, the event is focusing on the need for organ, eye and issue donation education, especially for teenagers getting their first driver’s license.

Why is donating important?

Organ donation saves not just one life, but multiple. According to Gift of Life Michigan, each organ donor can save up to eight lives, and tissue donors can heal an average of 75 people.

There are eight donatable organs in the human body: lungs, liver, pancreas, heart, kidneys, and intestines. All of these have the capacity to add years to the life of the receiver.

What is the process of organ donation like?

After a patient with a severe brain injury is admitted to the hospital, every attempt is made to save their life. If the patient declines severely, has irreversible brain damage, and needs a ventilator to breathe, they could be considered brain dead. A referral is then given to Gift of Life Michigan to see if their organs are eligible for donation. If a patient’s organs are eligible, and their name is on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, the donation will proceed. Organ recipients are then determined, and the donation will take place, lasting about 24-36 hours. After that, the donor is released, and funeral arrangements can proceed. Gift of Life Michigan has more information on the process of organ donation here.

How does someone join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry?

If someone is on the Donor Registry list, there will be a heart symbol on their license or state ID. Joining the Michigan Organ Donor Registry is easy. A simple form to fill out with basic info can be found on the Gift of Life Michigan website.

To learn more about organ donation in Michigan, and about the Check Your Heart rally, visit Gift of Life Michigan’s official website.

Copyright 2024 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.


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