A Night at the Opera: a goodwill concert celebrating organ transplant

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – About 3,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ in Michigan today. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, about 20 people die waiting each day, because the number in need greatly outpaces the organs available. There is an especially critical need for hearts, livers, and kidneys.

As an organ donor, you have the opportunity to save up to 8 lives and ease the pain and improve the lives of up the 50 more sick people.

>>> See video above for more information.


There are many misconceptions about organ donation. For example, you are never too old to register, it doesn’t cost anything, and it’s supported by most religions. Also, some people think doctors will give up trying to save them, if they are listed as organ donors. That is false. Every effort to save your life will be made before donation is considered or even discussed. By law, the medical team treating you must be completely separate from the transplant team.

Being an organ donor also relieves your family of having to make a difficult decision at your time of death. If you register to become a donor, you relieve your grieving family of having to make a decision about donation when you die. Having your wishes documented also ensures that your decision to donate will be carried out, if medically possible. Donors are afforded the utmost respect and care so neither organ nor tissue donation typically interfere with open casket viewings.

How do I sign up?

It is easy. It takes about 30 seconds.

You can do so by visiting any Secretary of State branch office, calling Gift of Life at 800.482.4881 or visiting the Gift of Life Michigan website.

A Night at the Opera: a goodwill concert celebrating organ transplant

This free event will feature Charity Tillemann-Dick, an American-born soprano and top-selling classical recording artist and recipient of two double lung transplants.

After the performance, you can choose to attend a special VIP reception where you will have a chance to meet Charity, and enjoy desserts and drinks.

Tickets to the VIP reception event are $100. All proceeds will benefit the Spectrum Health Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program.

When and where? And how do I register for the VIP event?

  • Thursday, June 1, 2017 at St. Cecilia Music Center’s Royce Auditorium
  • 24 Ransom Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Doors will open at 6 p.m., with show starting at 7 p.m. No reservations required. Seating is first come, first served.
  • The 8:30 p.m.  VIP reception is in St. Ceclia’s Dexter Ballroom
  • Tickets for the VIP reception can be purchased at www.give.spectrumhealth.org/opera