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Secretary Benson, Gift of Life Michigan recognize National Donate Life Month

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today recognized April as National Donate Life Month at a press conference with Dorrie Dils, President and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, and organ recipient Amy Bacon. National Donate Life Month is an annual celebration of the lives saved by heroic organ, eye and tissue donors across the country and call for Americans to join organ donor registries.

“Adding your name to the organ donor registry saves lives and families in your community and across our great state of Michigan,” said Benson. “We’re proud to partner with Gift of Life Michigan to help Michiganders join the registry in numerous convenient ways, including through our website, at our self-service stations, by mail and at our offices.”

The Michigan Organ Donor Registry is a confidential database that documents an individual’s decision to become an organ, tissue and eye donor. The Michigan Organ Donor Registry can only be accessed by Gift of Life Michigan to assist hospitals in the recovery and transplantation of organs and tissues. One person can save and improve the lives of 75 people through organ, tissue and eye donation.

“We truly appreciate the partnership with the Michigan Secretary of State and the continued commitment to help us expand the Michigan Organ Donor Registry and save lives,” said Dils. “We cannot do this alone. We are grateful for Secretary Benson and the hard work of her team throughout the state.”
Benson was also joined by Amy Bacon, a Flint resident who received a donated heart about 10 years ago. After a sudden heart attack in 2009, Bacon’s health deteriorated until she was diagnosed with end stage heart failure and placed in hospice care in 2012. After her life-saving transplant, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in public health administration and a master’s and doctorate in public health. She recently joined Gift of Life as a public education specialist.
“I’m living my best life. I’m trying to reach as many people as I can,” she said. “That’s why I’m here. I want to do my part to help other people.”

Approximately 85 percent of Michiganders who join the registry do so when applying for or renewing their driver’s licenses or state ID with the Michigan Department of State. But residents can join the registry at any time by visiting or going to one of the department’s more than 160 new self-service stations, most of which are located at grocery stores. Those who join the registry receive a heart emblem on their driver’s license or state ID indicating their decision to be a donor.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state's federally designated organ and tissue recovery program, providing all services necessary for organ donation to occur in Michigan, and anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, regardless of their health or age. Those considering joining are encouraged to discuss the decision with their family.

More information is available online at and Video of the press conference can be found on the Michigan Department of State Youtube page.

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