Thank you for your continued support of organ, tissue and eye donation! Gift of Life Michigan works every day to save and improve lives here in the state and beyond, and we couldn’t do this important work without you. We want to provide you with this update of some of the things Gift of Life Michigan is doing to honor life through donation.
Michigan celebrates first placenta donation

Historically, Gift of Life Michigan has supported families during a time of sadness and grief, as their loved one donates life-saving organs and tissues. Now, a new partnership with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital gives mothers and their newborn babies a chance to provide healing tissue at a time of joy.

The placenta donation program — for expectant mothers who will give birth with a planned C-section — began in August. There is no risk to either the mother or baby. Placenta is rich in nutrients, so it has unique healing properties. It’s most often used to heal traumatic wounds and diabetic ulcers — typically situations where there isn’t enough skin to close a wound.

“This incredible opportunity is creating a legacy of giving for moms and babies as they celebrate new life,” Gift of Life CEO Dorrie Dils said.

Alyssa Voss and her son, Coleton, were the first placenta donors. “We’re excited to know that our baby boy is already a hero,” she said.

To learn more, visit

Gift of Life devotes time, resources to under-served communities

A campaign begun this year, called “Let’s Talk,” continues to provide information and support to multicultural communities, where the need for transplantation is relatively high but some residents are reluctant to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

Gift of Life Michigan is using the campaign to address concerns and myths that may impede donor registrations, while working with community leaders, residents and organizations to have the message come from people directly affected by donation and transplantation.
Special events and “dialogue circles” are incorporated into “Let’s Talk” to prompt this discussion.

Additionally, “Let’s Talk” includes videos and testimonials that both inform and inspire people to become organ, tissue and eye donors.

For additional information, visit

Heart recipient shows her gratitude
Rachel Kuntzsch received a heart transplant on Thanksgiving night, 2018. The Grand Ledge resident continues to give thanks for her life-saving transplant as a Gift of Life volunteer. 

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for my heart donor and the decision he made that allows me to be here to experience more joyful moments with the people I love,” she said. “I have been given the ultimate pay-it-forward gift. His gift didn't just rescue me; my donor left a legacy of life and love for my whole family and beyond."

2019 on pace to be a great year for saving, improving lives

After coming off a record-breaking year, Gift of Life Michigan once again could set a new mark because of the generosity of donors and their families.

Through early October, Gift of Life had facilitated about 1,200 tissue donations and, at that pace, could see nearly 1,500 for the year. That’s well above the record 1,384 tissue donations in 2019. A single tissue donor can help up to 75 people, so literally tens of thousands of people will benefit from the final gifts of our donors.

Additionally, Gift of Life Michigan had worked with the families of 260 organ donors through early October and may match the record 338 organ donors last year.

Without donors, there are no transplants. We are eternally grateful that these donors and their families have decided to give life as their final act.
We honor life through donation.SM
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Address postal inquiries to:
Gift of Life Foundation
3861 Research Park Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48108