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50 Stories to Honor 50 Years

Fifty for 50: 50 stories honoring 50 years

Gift of Life Michigan has touched thousands of lives since its inception in 1971, bringing the hope of healing and a second chance at life for people throughout Michigan and across the U.S.

The stories from people who have been saved, and from the families of donors who so generously provided these gifts of life, are always touching, bittersweet and inspirational.

Please join us in honoring 50 years of lives saved by reading and sharing some of the stories (below) that touched the lives and hearts of so many people.

  • Kay Walters refused to accept her doctor's grim diagnosis when her heart started to fail when when she was only 38 years old. "I thought: well, that's ridiculous. I've got a young child by myself. I gotta be here," she said. She received a donated heart when she was 45 and, nearly 24 years later, celebrated her 70th birthday. Read Kay's story.   
  • Marty Townsend was so friendly, he never met a stranger. When he passed suddenly after a stroke, the decision to donate was a no-brainer, according to his daughter, Kimberly. "There was no question that that was what he would have done," she said. Read Marty's story. 
  • Keisha Dulin was born with a rare condition that caused her to have two open heart surgeries before she was 8 years old. With a new heart, she's hoping for health and healing in 2021. Read Keisha's story 
  • Bobby Ramos was a registered donor when his life was tragically cut short at the age of 23. His decision to donate not only helped others, it gave his family a new perspective on life after loss. Read Bobby's story. 
  • A rare kidney disease took both of her kidneys, but it barely slowed Acacia Walter-Rooks down. With a kidney donated by a family friend, she was able to graduate high school and now has a bright future ahead of her. Read Acacia's story.  
  • Sonya Cook received the gift of a kidney transplant from a 2-year old donor, giving her the chance to raise her own daughter. "I couldn't understand why God would take this child into his arms so that she could save my life," she said. Read Sonya's story