GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — April is Donate Life Month, a time when you’re encouraged to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor.

“It’s so important that we have people registered to be organizers because we don’t have a substitute for that. When we have all these patients on the waiting list, waiting for life-saving organ transplants — about 2400 in Michigan right now — and most of them are waiting for a kidney transplant,” said Alison Gillum of Gift of Life Michigan.

On Wednesday, Trinity Health’s Kidney Transplant Center will receive the 2023 Gift of Life Michigan Donation Champion Award for Transplant Center of the Year. Kelly Summers, the manager of the department, credits its creativity.

“Our ultimate goal is we put a lot of efforts into thinking outside the box. How can we creatively help these patients who are waiting for this precious, life-saving organ? How can we help get more availability and accessibility for transplants?” said Summers.

Trinity Health is the only adult kidney transplant center in Michigan partnered with the National Kidney Registry, she said.

Besides being asked at the Secretary of State office while renewing a license, people can also register to be on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by going online at Gift of Life Michigan’s website and signing up. A driver’s license is not necessary for registration.