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April is Donate Life Month, Gift of Life Michigan moves their celebrations online

Due to the current pandemic, Gift of Life Michigan will be celebrating Donate Life Month online this year.
Doctor holder cooler for human organ for transplant, stock image.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — April is Donate Life Month, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Gift of Life Michigan is postponing its usual celebratory events. The group will instead reinforce its message online. 

“Our work continues, and we are eternally grateful to everyone who has helped support our purpose of honoring life through donation,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. 

Donate Life Month was created by Donate Life America in 2003 encouraging Americans to sign up as organ and tissue donors. As well as, celebrate the stories of donors and recipients.

The theme of this year's events is "Garden of Life" to symbolize hope, renewal, and transformation.

While events have been postponed or cancelled there are still important dates to recognize:

  • April 17: Blue and Green Day, when people are encouraged to wear blue and green in support of organ donation
  • April 19-25: National Pediatric Transplant Week, which focuses on ending the pediatric transplant list
  • April 30: Donor Remembrance Day, a virtual event that celebrates donor stories

There are also steps you can take in your own home to help save lives and honor those who have donated, including:

  • Visit www.golm.org and sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
  • Visit the Gift of Life Michigan social media channels and share your story.
  • Host a Facebook fundraiser for Gift of Life Michigan.
  • Have a conversation with friends and family about your decision to donate, and encourage them to sign up as a donor at www.golm.org.
  • Have a conversation with friends and family about your decision to donate, and encourage them to sign up as a donor at www.golm.org.

The need for additional organ donors is high across the country. In the United States, there are about 113,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ; a new person is added to the list every 10 minutes. 

In Michigan, there are nearly 2,800 patients on the list.

Gift of Life Michigan is the federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) serving Michigan. 

Despite the concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19, Gift of Life continues to work with hospitals, transplant centers and surgeons to facilitate organ, eye and tissue recovery that will save and improve lives. 

They are taking additional safety precautions to protect transplant recipients, staff and the community.

Potential organ donors and recipients alike have always been subject to rigorous medical tests to ensure a proper match and to guarantee as successful a transplant as possible. 

Those tests now include screening for COVID-19, as well. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will be medically ineligible for donation.

“The need for donors continues, even in light of the pandemic. People still are desperate to receive these gifts, and anyone can give them hope by signing up to be an organ, tissue and eye donor,” Dils said.

To sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, visit the Gift of Life Website or call 866.500.5801. 

For more on Donate Life Month, visit the Gift of Life Michigan Facebook page.



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