Waiting to Live Campaign

Did you know that roughly one-third of the more than 3,000 Michigan residents waiting for organ transplants live in Wayne County, yet only 25 percent of the county’s adults are registered organ, tissue and eye donors?

(By comparison, more than 37 percent of adults statewide and about 43 percent nationally are registered as donors.)

That’s a tremendous gap, one that our partner in organ donation, Gift of Life Michigan, hopes to close through its new ad campaign, “Waiting to Live – Wayne County.”

The campaign features five Wayne County residents – two of whom are Henry Ford Transplant Institute patients – all waiting for life-saving organ transplants.

Henry Ford Hospital has pledged our support to this campaign and our community by asking residents to consider adding their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, a confidential database of people who want to give the gift of life.

I should also note that the Henry Ford Transplant Institute has joined Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye-Bank, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan to add one million names to the Michigan organ donor registry too.

As I’ve said before, transplantation of human organs is one of the great accomplishments of modern medical science.

Although still requiring lifelong care with medications and oversight, the transformation of patients, from failing organs to full of life, is truly remarkable.

But behind all of the triumphs of transplantation are the tragedies of the donor and those who remain waiting.

“Waiting to Live – Wayne County” is our opportunity to turn those tragedies into miracles.

The campaign video is posted above. You can also catch it airing now through November on Comcast cable channels BET, ESPN, VH1, TBS, USA and ESPN.

How to sign up to be an organ donor

Signing the back of your driver’s license is no longer the way to become a donor in Michigan.

Instead, you must join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry to receive a red heart emblem for the front of your license. To do so, go to www.giftoflifemichigan.org, call 800.482.4881 or visit any Secretary of State branch office.

And, if you’re already a registered organ donor, please share in the comments section below why you made the decision to sign up. It may encourage someone else to do the same.


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6 thoughts on “Waiting to Live Campaign

  1. After managing our GREAT transplant unit here at Henry Ford Hospital, I saw first hand just how badly our patients really depended on the generosity of others to help them live! Aren’t we all in our health care careers to help those who need us?? It’s just the right thing to do!!

  2. I’m a registered donor because my husband has kidney disease. I hope that if he ever needs it, I will be a compatible donor… if I’m not, I pray that someone else is. I know that our plans for our life together- raising our son, growing old together- may depend on a stranger who is a registered organ donor. Should something happen to me, I want to give the gift of life to someone else, so that they can live out their life in the way they always thought they would before they became ill. A loss or tragedy can become more meaningful- less senseless, when it becomes a life saving miracle for someone else.

  3. I’m a registered donor because I know that “the question” usually comes after a sudden and unexpected loss. I know that if I wasn’t “signed up” and something happened to me, my family would have to make a decision on my behalf. I know it’s a real gift to donor families to know, with certainty, the wishes of their loved one. I know it’s my responsibility to make this decision in life, so that someone doesn’t have to make it for me when I die. I know I have the opportunity to provide life, sight and mobility to someone else, and I choose to do so! I know I am a registered donor!

  4. I am a registered donor because I have experienced “the gift of life” in a co-worker’s son who received a double lung transplant at Henry Ford Hospital a few years ago. He went from very sick to vibrant and amazing! I urge everyone to not only sign up to be an organ donor, but if you are able to also sign up to be a bone marrow donor, and even to give blood. To give this gift of hope and life to recipients and their families is heroic. Many blessings to all who have donated, to all who have signed up as donors, and to all of you who will sign up!

  5. As Director of the Transplant Institute at Henry Ford, I not only practice it, but I believe in it! Throughout life, we learn from others and depend on others and our communities and its people. There is no better way to give back and be part of our communities – I am a registered organ donor

  6. I chose to become a donor back in University when i was involved with a project on organ donation & saw what a great need there was for organs. Now that I am involved with the Henry Ford Transplant Institute through work, I get to see first hand the good that it can do. I just figure, if something was to happen to me, I would want somebody to hopefully benefit from something that I am not going to need anymore. To be able to give someone the gift of life to me is a miracle & would probably give my family some comfort in the fact that someone was helped by my death . I have also convinced my husband to be an organ donor , he just got his new driver’s license with his heart!

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