State Rep wants to make HIV organ donation to others with HIV legal in Michigan

Londel Cook was diagnosed as being HIV positive in 2005 and that medical condition led to another medical challenge. 

"In 2007 is when my kidneys started to decline," he said. 

But in 2019, the loved one of a family friend provided a gift of life, allowing Cook to receive a kidney transplant. 

"And miraculously it was a perfect match," he said. 

Now Cook would like to sign up to become an organ donor himself but in Michigan, the law prohibits life-saving organs from HIV-positive donors to be used to save the lives of other HIV-positive patients.
But one state lawmaker is working to change that. On Thursday State Rep. Felicia Brabec introduced the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act also known as the HOPE Act 

"It allows folks who are HIV positive to be organ donors and the recipient needs to be HIV positive, and so what it does, it just opens up our organ transplant world," said State Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield).

If the Bill is passed, Dorrie Dills the CEO of Gift of Life Michigan says, it will be a game-changer.

"It will eliminate barriers and allow transplant centers to use organs right here in Michigan," Dills said. "Right now when we recover these types of organs we have to send them outside of our state." 

And keeping these organs in Michigan will help hundreds. 

"It's estimated it will be a few hundred additional transplants a year," Brabec said.

She wants all Michiganders to call their local lawmakers and tell them to support The HOPE Act.

"Please contact your state representative and let them know you are in favor of life-saving measures," Brabec said.