Secretary Johnson holds Amelia Hale, a 3-year-old awaiting a kidney transplant, while her mom Jessica tells the family's story.
Reminding residents of the more than 3,500 people in Michigan awaiting a potentially life-saving organ transplant, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recognized April as Donate Life Month during a visit to St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit on April 12 (Watch WDIV TV-4's report).
“Through the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, one person has the potential to save or transform the lives of 75 people,” Johnson said. “Today we remember those who gave the gift of life, sight and mobility and recognize those who have received those same gifts. I encourage everyone to take a moment and join the registry to give others a second chance at life and sight.”
Johnson was joined by Dorrie Dils, CEO for Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ and tissue recovery program; Diana Kern, executive director for Eversight Michigan, the state’s cornea and eye tissue recovery program; transplant surgeon Dr. Kevin Grady, those waiting for an organ, and family members whose loved ones donated organs to save the lives of strangers.
She presented a Shining Star Award to Patty Jo Herndon, president and CEO of the Michigan Donor Family Council, president-elect of the Gift of Life Michigan Foundation and a board member at Eversight Michigan. She became involved in the cause after the death of her sister in 1997.
Johnson also announced the winner of the statewide Transplant Center Challenge, a competition between each of Michigan’s nine transplant centers to see who could add the most new donors to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry over the past year. The winner, St. John’s, signed up 840 donors, topping second place Detroit Medical Center with 826 signups. Together the centers added more than 2,700 names to the registry.
Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by visiting www.Michigan.gov/sos or any Secretary of State office. Those who sign up receive a heart emblem for their driver’s license that indicates their decision to be an organ donor. A new card with a permanent heart emblem is issued at renewal time.
Don't be fooled by unofficial Secretary of State websites, which often contain inaccurate information, charge you convenience fees for transactions and try to reroute you to their advertisers' sites.
If a website has DMV in the URL, steer clear. Go to michigan.gov/sos for official information from the Michigan Secretary of State.