Versiti - Michael Gordon, MD | Impact Stories

Michael Gordon, MD

“The biggest thing is to educate yourself and understand what this really means and the impact you can have.”

Michael Gordon, MD

Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician Michael Gordon, MD, is on a mission to improve his patients’ lives and restore their mobility so they can get back to doing the activities they love most. Over the course of his career, he has worked with athletes of all ages and is no stranger to the life-enhancing gift of tissue donation.

“When I first moved back to Milwaukee about 20 years ago, one of the things I was working on was cartilage restoration. That utilizes donated tissue. We ask people to be recipients and what it means for them, but you also realize that there’s another side of it—a family has made a very difficult decision to donate tissue,” Dr. Gordon says. “This is a gift from somebody, and we need to make sure we nurture and respect it. People are incredibly grateful for the gift other people have given them. When it can restore quality of life for them and get them back to the activities they enjoy, it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.”

Dr. Gordon feels lucky to be part of a large group of people who come together to make tissue donation possible, from donor families to tissue recovery teams, and wants to help others understand the joy he feels every day. “I get to see the true benefit of these donations. Others don’t always get to see the rewards that I do. If I have a chance to share in some of the joy that I get from it, I think that’s a simple thing I can do,” he says. “I believe very strongly in what everyone in this process does. The biggest word I would use is ‘respect.’ I want to show my great respect for the donors and donor families.”

Dr. Gordon acknowledges that tissue donation may not be an easy choice for every family, but before discounting it, he encourages people to do their homework. “The biggest thing is to educate yourself on what it means and learn more about it, talk about it with your family, talk about it with your religious leaders, talk to people through Versiti,” he says. “Understand what this really means and the impact that you can have. For me, if I can do something to give back after all these years, it isn’t a difficult choice.”

Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list.

Approximately 113,000 men, women, and children are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. One organ donor has the power to save up to eight lives and change the outcomes of someone’s world forever by giving them a second chance. Additionally, tissue donation can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gifts. You can make a huge impact by registering as an organ and tissue donor.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation, or register as a donor at


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