But more than 3,000 Michigan residents are awaiting organ transplants, said Remonia Chapman, program director for the Detroit area. More than 2,500 are waiting for kidney transplants while another 333 are seeking livers.
"We knew as a family that was our desire," Annette Joe said of organ transplants. "But we didn't know firsthand about the process until we experienced it. Some people think that doctors wouldn't try to save you because they would be trying to get your organs. We found that to be the exact opposite."
In 2010, a "floragraph" of Detroit teenager Brandon Spight was featured on the Donate Life float. Spight died in 2007 from a rare brain defect. His lungs, kidneys, liver, intestine and heart valves were donated and helped save five other lives.
To sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, visit giftoflifemichigan.org, call 1 (800) 482-4881 or visit any Secretary of State branch office.