GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More than 800 West Michigan organ and tissue transplant recipients and donors gathered together at John Ball Zoo Saturday to celebrate the gifts of life, sight and mobility. 

The event was hosted by Gift of Life, Michigan's organ and tissue recovery program. This is the first time they've held an event of this size in the area to honor organ and tissue donors, transplant recipients and health care partners. 

A Celebration of Life trail featured the donors and recipients.

“Donate Life Day at the Zoo is our chance to honor the individuals in West Michigan who help make organ and tissue donation possible, as well as those who have benefited from these gifts,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “We’re bringing everyone together to shine a light on the important work that is being done to save and improve lives on this side of the state.” 

There are currently 3,000 Michigan residents on the organ transplant waiting list. And there are tens of thousands more who need tissue and cornea transplants. 

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