Gift of Life: How one girl’s organ donation saved five

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – One Holt man is honoring his daughter’s legacy after her organ donation saved the lives of five strangers.

The City of Lansing has dedicated May 31 as Amaia Alysse Edmond Gift of Life Day.

John Edmond reflects on the impact his daughter continues to have after her death.

Edmond is commemorating what would have been his daughter’s 19th birthday.

Five people are alive thanks to the gift of life that Amaia gave more than a decade ago.

It’s a story that drives Edmond to encourage others to consider becoming organ donors.

“I know it’s something you don’t want to think about but it does actually save lives and that’s the beauty in it all,” said Edmond.

It’s been nearly 12 years since a tragic shooting cut short the life of his 7-year-old daughter.

The little girl’s family made the decision to donate her organs, including her liver, heart, kidney, and lungs.

In 2010, Edmond created a memorial named after her that focuses on giving back through school fundraisers and guiding families of gun violence victims through the grieving process.

Last August, Lansing city officials recognized Edmond’s community service by dedicating May 31st to Amaia’s life.

The advocacy has not gone unnoticed by the Gift of Life Michigan, which awarded Edmond the “Honoring Life Through Donation” award last year.

“I can’t help but think if a little 7-year-old child can think so much of others, can’t we all do that and make the decision to become a donor,” said Dorrie Dis, president and CEO.

Dis said about 2,400 people are waiting on the transplant list in Michigan. She added that the organization broke records last year, with 429 organ donors giving a little over a thousand donations

Edmond said he still keeps the notes from donation recipients about how much her donation means to them.

“In every letter, they always talk about having her picture with them as a symbol of how to commemorate her and also to further their lives and you know that really makes me proud as a father,” said Edmond.

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