LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s been more than a decade since Mike Lopez had his organ transplant surgery.
“July 24 will be my 12-year anniversary,” he said.
That’s when he got really sick and decided to see a doctor.
“And he told me ‘Hey, you are going to need a liver transplant in order to live.'”
And it’s been almost 12 years for John Edmond, since losing his seven-year-old daughter.
“Amaya was tragically shot July 23, 2010, at a home invasion at her mother’s house,” Edmond said. “She was on life support for 24 hours.”
But with her death, she was able to save five lives. One of the five included Lopez’s.
“I’m just doing the best I can to live the life that I should live and try to honor her memory and her legacy,” Lopez said.
It’s stories like these that made people gather at the capitol today.
Through speeches and informational booths, attendees learned more about ‘Gift of Life Michigan’ and what it, and they, can do.
“Even if you think you’ve signed up, just take a moment and look for that little red heart on your driver’s license or ID to make sure you’ve signed up.”
Edmond lost his daughter, but he’s been comforted by knowing Amaya has changed so many lives for the better.
“They all have families and to be able to be around them to receive letters of gratitude and thankfulness, it’s just a tremendous amount of love being poured out at one time,” he said.
And recipients like Lopez are truly grateful.
“How do you thank him when they lost a little girl, and they gave you the gift of life?”
According to Gift of Life Michigan, 90 lives are saved each day by an organ transplant in the U.S.