About Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Michigan


In the fall of 1975, a few Myasthenia Gravis (MG) patients in the Grand Rapids area became acquainted. Through the insights gained by sharing with others with MG, the interest to start a local chapter evolved. The desire to educate patients, their families and the public about this autoimmune neuromuscular illness contributed in this decision. The need to re-alert the medical profession and support research to find new treatment methods and the cause and cure of the illness were also supporting factors. We began with a nucleus of 18 patients. Currently we have over 500 patient members.

In April 1976 our Great Lakes Chapter received its charter from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc. (MGFA), a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization formed in 1952 exclusively for the purpose of supporting research into the cause and cure of MG, and to distribute information about the illness. Headquartered in New York City, they support over 14 chapters and multiple support groups through-out the United States. Through a prestigious Medical /Scientific Advisory Board, the MGFA directs research programs at major medical centers across the country. The National Nurses Advisory Board assists local chapters with nursing care programs.

Our Great Lakes Chapter affairs were coordinated from a patient's home until 1987 when a local company donated office space. In 1988 our first part-time staff person was hired, and ten years later we hired a full-time Executive Director.

In May of 2015 the MGFA had voted to reorganize the origination and or to entirely volunteer. The Trustees of the GLC Chapter of MGFA resolved to seperate from the National organization to maintain support throughout the state as it has for the previous 39 years. We have received our approval from the state of Michigan and are recognized as Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Michigan (MGMI).

Today MGMI has a part-time director, an elected Board of Trustees provides support and governance and a Medical Advisory Board (MAB). Support meetings are held in several locations throughout the Michigan. The meetings provide opportunity for patients, their families and friends to learn about the illness and share tips on living with the condition. A variety of educational materials are available to patients, the public and medical professionals. A foundation newsletter features local and state activities, and medical and/or patient oriented articles. Trained volunteers are available to assist newly diagnosed patients in adjusting to their illness and for in-hospital visits.

As a self-sustaining non-profit organization, we depend on financial assistance from patients, their families and friends, and from outside gifts. To continue and expand our services and awareness programs, a variety of fundraising events are held throughout the year in addition to annual memberships of $25.00 or more. You are invited to support us with your tax-deductible donation. Annual reports, budgets and operating plans are available upon request.

Please contact us if you would like more information about myasthenia gravis, our foundation operations or to become a volunteer.

get involved

Board of Directors


Howard H. Hansen

Vice President:

John Beal


Esther Land


Priscilla Walden


James Booth Burr, Jr.
Dr. Christopher Glisson
Rae Green
Mallary Johnson
Esther M. Land
Evelyn Navarro, M.D.
Susan Richards
Amit Sachdev MD
Susan Woolner

contact us

Want to help or have questions?

(616) 956-0622

2660 Horizon Dr. SE
Suite 235
Grand Rapids, MI 49546