Our History

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 to 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



which has now grown to over


patient members

In April 1976...

The Great Lakes Chapter received its charter from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc. (MGFA).

Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc. (MGFA) – a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization formed in 1952 to support research to discover the cause and cure of MG, and to distribute information about the illness. Headquartered in New York City, MGFA originally supported over fourteen chapters and multiple support groups throughout the United States.

The Great Lakes Chapter activities were coordinated from a patient’s home until 1987...

when a local company donated office space. In 1988 the first part-time staff person was hired, and ten years later a full-time Executive Director came on board.

In May of 2015, the MGFA voted to reorganize, dissolving the Chapter structure.

The Great Lakes Chapter Trustees elected to separate from the national organization to maintain support throughout the state as it has for the previous 39 years. Receiving approval from the State of Michigan to become a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the organization became the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Michigan (MGMI).


MGMI’s part-time office administrator and elected Board of Trustees provide support and governance with advice from its Medical Advisory Board. Support meetings are held in several locations throughout Michigan and virtually to provide opportunities 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 illnesses and for in-hospital visits.

As a self-sustaining non-profit organization, the MGMI depends on donations and fundraising activities to sustain Michigan patient services, awareness, education and research.

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Serving & Supporting the Myasthenia Gravis Community in Michigan

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