Southfield (CBS Detroit) – As National Donate Life Month kicks off, four people at the forefront of the conversation appear on CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters” to talk about the importance of donors and raising awareness about how to do so.

Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain, with Bruce Nicely, VP of Clinical Operations at Gift of Life Michigan

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Bruce Nicely, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Gift of Life Michigan, appears with Senior Producer/Host and discusses the growing need for organ and tissue donors. Currently 2,500 Michiganders are awaiting an organ transplant.

Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain, with Cesante Ward, a man born with kidney failure who is in desperate need of a transplant

Cesante Ward, who was born with kidney failure, is in desperate need of kidney now and talks with Cain about his lifelong journey. He created a facebook page “Without A Moment to Spare” detailing his journey as he seeks a live donor.

Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain, with Jon Margerum-Leys, a living kidney donor and the Dean of Oakland University’s College of Education and Human Services

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Jon Margerum-Leys, Dean of Oakland University’s Education and Human Services, heeded the call a few years ago and donated one of his kidneys to a stranger. A metro Detroit man was the recipient and is living a full life thanks to his generosity.

Margerum-Leys talks what it was like donating a kidney, what motivated him and why he is a champion for it today.

Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain, with Rachel Kuntzsch, a heart transplant recipient, and President of Public Sector Consultants

And Rachel Kuntzsch, president of Public Sector Consultants, a seemingly healthy and busy mom of two, found herself deathly ill overnight and had to have a heart transplant, which she talks about publicly for the first time on the show.

She shares what it was like and how important it is to raise awareness for organ donations. She now serves on Gift of Life Michigan’s board.

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To register to be a donor: GiftOfLifeMichigan.org/become-a-donor