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Are you an organ donor? Gift of Life celebrates 50th anniversary in Ann Arbor

‘Being a donor is the ultimate act of love,’ recipient says

Gift of Life celebrates 50th anniversary in Ann Arbor.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – When you think about donating over the holidays you typically think about giving clothing, food or money -- but at the Gift of Life in Ann Arbor they want you to sign up to become an organ donor.

“Being a donor is the ultimate act of love,” organ recipient Lawrence Bailey said.

Bailey received a kidney transplant eight years ago and is proud to return to the Gift of Life Michigan to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

“When death is occurring either in a hospital or somewhere in Michigan, we respond to that death and facilitate the donation process,” Gift of Life President and CEO Dorrie Dils said.

After spending seven years on a dialysis, Bailey’s kidney transplant gave him his life back. Now he spends his time educating people about becoming donors.

“I’m very, very active in educating African Americans, so what was important for us and the donors,” Bailey said. “It’s not just the transplant, it’s the events that happen after the transplant that makes it more meaningful.”

Events like seeing your grandchildren grow up, something Aarolyn McCullough would have missed if she hadn’t received a liver donation in 2011.

“My granddaughter was just under one when I was transplanted. Now, I have three additional grandchildren and, so, it’s such a blessing to have been here for 10 years to be able to spend this time with family and friends and also to give back. It, the whole process has been life changing for me and I am so grateful,” McCullough said.

Another thing they’re celebrating at the Gift of Life is the recent passing of the Hope Act. The act will allow for HIV positive to HIV positive organ transplants in Michigan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign that bill in the next couple days.

Read: More organ donation coverage

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You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.