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Organ donations: The gift of life

April 13, 2010
Daily Press

There might be something missing from your drivers license.

If you don't have a red heart on the front of your license, you're not an organ donor. Becoming an organ donor is something all residents should seriously consider. Now is the perfect time.

April has been designated as Donate Life Month in Michigan. This is an effort the Secretary of State's office takes on every year. This year, they are being joined by Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye-bank, and Hospice of Michigan.

Becoming an organ donor is simple and each donor can bring the gift of life to nearly 50 people. All you have to do to enroll in the state Organ Donor Registry is visit the Department of State Web site at or visit any Michigan Secretary of State office. The heart placed on your drivers license after you enroll will identify you as an organ donor.

The need for organ donors is great. In Michigan alone, there are currently 3,000 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant. By becoming an organ donor, you can save a life or help someone gain a new lease on life.

The Michigan Organ Donor Registry contains about 1.8 million names, roughly 18 percent of the state's population. You'll have lots of company.

Age or health problems should not stop you if you want to add your name to the organ donor registry. A transplant surgeon evaluates organs and tissues for their suitability.

There are plenty of good reasons to become an organ donor, If you're still not sure, find out more about the organizations that work with organ donation and help save lives.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state's certified organ recovery organization. It acts as an intermediary between donors, physicians and hospital staff. For more information visit

The Michigan Eye-Bank's mission is the restoration of sight. It recovers, evaluates and distributes corneas for transplantation, supports eye and vision research and offers education on the importance of eye, tissue and organ donation. To learn more visit

Hospice of Michigan provides specialized care to people living with advanced chronic illness. Its mission is to ensure quality of life, comfort and peace to each patient and provide support for the patient's loved ones. Visit the Hospice of Michigan Web site at

For more about the Department of State organ and tissue donor initiatives go to



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