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Gift of Life Michigan Blog

Evan Kimball saved five lives through organ donation and his parents, Lydia and Ward, are building on his legacy.

'He just wanted to help'

Mon, July 26, 2021

Gladwin, MI – Evan Kimball was passionate about helping others and playing baseball. 

“He would play anywhere; he loved the game,” said his mother, Lydia.

Dale Milford is a three-time Liver recipient.

A journey of faith

Tue, July 20, 2021

Farmington Hills, MI – Dale Milford has always been a man of strong faith, but he said his transplant journey – or, more accurately, journeys – elevated his calling. After three liver transplants, he said he’s healthier than ever and has dedicated his life to helping others.

“I can’t help but think that God wanted me to tell my story,” said Milford, 65, a Farmington Hills resident. “I feel like I’m on a mission.”

‘My son lives on in others and he’s always going to live in me’

Wed, July 14, 2021

William Wayne McGee IV was known by several nicknames, including ‘Ugg,’ and ‘Fat Daddy.’ His mother, and at least one of the people he saved when his life was tragically cut short at the age of 33, have another nickname for him, too: ‘God’s Gift.’

“He had a heart of gold. He wanted everyone to have fun and live life,” said his mother, Angela Shelton-Manley. “He never wanted any problems. He was a peaceful man. He was a peacemaker.”

Alex-Michael Springer saved five lives through organ donation.

‘His heart is still beating; it’s beating for someone else’

Thu, July 08, 2021

Alex-Michael Springer had his future ahead of him, and things were looking good. The 24-year-old Paw Paw resident was expecting a child and had just learned that he was being groomed for advancement at Trout Glass & Mirror in Valparaiso, IN – with the company agreeing to pay for his education. 

Harrell James (left) donated a kidney to his brother, Earl.

Brotherly love: donated kidney provides second chance at life

Tue, June 22, 2021

Earl James has some advice for men who are inclined to ignore the typical aches and pains that come with age: ignore them at your peril.

Ralph Mutrynowski donated a kidney to his daughter, Kristen, about 7 years ago.

'He's my superhero'

Wed, June 16, 2021

Fathers and daughters often share a unique bond, but for Ralph and Kristen Mutrynowski, that connection is even stronger.

Becky Richard donated one of her kidneys to Jud Lynch

‘She’s like another daughter’

Fri, June 04, 2021

Jud Lynch knew he would need two things: a haircut and a kidney transplant. The 68-year-old Grand Rapids man just didn’t expect to get them both from the same person.

He was diagnosed with IGA nephropathy in his 20s, an autoimmune disease in which antibodies build up in the kidneys and cause scarring. It has no cure.

Mark Otto is celebrating 20 years with a donated liver.

'It's a miracle, top to bottom. No doubt about it.'

Fri, May 28, 2021

Two decades ago, Mark Otto would’ve been happy to gain just one more year of life. Then 34, his liver was failing and he was plagued by chronically itchy skin. He was jaundiced and extremely fatigued, sometimes sleeping 16 hours a day.

“It was about as bad as it could get in the end,” said Otto. “My surgeon told me I probably had a couple weeks to go.”

Candice and Thelma Desjarlais, sisters-in-law who share a kidney

Rick Springfield and a mountain top: Milford woman donates kidney to sister-in-law, with a few friendly caveats

Wed, May 19, 2021

Candice Desjarlais remembers the exact moment she decided to donate a kidney to her sister-in-law, Thelma.

Thelma had just finished a five-and-a-half hour dialysis treatment, with Candice sitting with her to keep her company. Candice said she was moved by the overall somber atmosphere in the clinic and the varying ages of the patients there. The decision was so spontaneous, Candice said she even surprised herself.

Nancy Banks said she is living proof of the good organ donation can do.

Kidney recipient says she is living proof of the good organ donation can do

Thu, May 13, 2021

Nancy Banks was just finishing up a dialysis treatment when her phone started to ring.

She didn’t recognize the number and was going to ignore it because the clinic had a strict no-calls policy. A staff member had a feeling about the 800-number, however, and advised her to answer. When she did, she received some of the best news of her life: a donor had generously gifted a kidney and it was a good match for her.