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Sherry Johnson

Sherry Johnson needed a new heart to live. More than three years after her transplant, she's doing just that, thanks to her hero. Click here to sign up.

Sherry Johnson was a 36-year-old Farmington Hills mom when her failing heart left her exhausted, weak and nearly at the end. She could no longer walk her two little boys to the bus stop or fold a load of laundry. Life had become a complete struggle.

Johnson was dying of cardiomyopathy, a brutal heart condition that runs in her family. After months of rapid decline and four days at the University of Michigan Medical Center during her weakest moments, a nurse broke the news: "We have a heart for you."

Johnson cried, hugged and braced for what would come next.

She awoke from her 2006 transplant surgery with new energy, warm fingers and a crisp view of a healthy future with her husband and boys.

Her life was saved by a Michigan woman who had signed up on the state's organ donor registry before she died.

More than three years later, Johnson is living a healthy, happy life. She takes no day for granted, revels in every small task and meaningful moment, and understands fully that her new heart wasn't just a gift for her.

"It was a gift for my family, too," Johnson said. "We have my donor to thank for that."