ROCKFORD, Iowa - Nearly a month and a half ago, Logan's Law became official.
It's the legislation that allows Iowans to become designated organ donors while registering for a fishing, hunting or fur harvester license, and was named after Charles City teen Logan Luft, who expressed his desire to become an organ donor before his passing in 2017.
Now, the law is making an immediate impact, as the Iowa Donor Registry is growing: 217 names have been added to the registry for the first time since the registry was established when Logan's Law was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds.
Since 2016, Sammi Barlow's fiance Jim has needed a kidney and pancreas. Despite some difficulty in trying to find a match, over this past summer, they were able to find a match from a 19 year-old man, and the surgery at the University of Minnesota in August was a success. Now, she too could be going under the knife, hoping to donate a kidney to a friend. She says hearing Logan's story changed her view on the transplant process.
"Before, I never looked at it from the standpoint of the donor family. I always looked at it as 'we're waiting, we're waiting for someone.' But now seeing that from Wendy [Luft], she made me realize that I need to involve the donor family at some point. I'm actually working on reaching out to them right now and hopefully, they will contact us and we can integrate them into our family."
With many first time donors being added to the registry, she appreciates more people making a sacrifice to save someone's life.
"It's just amazing to see that many people now are being educated, or haven't really thought about it, until being asked now, 'here's your deer license. Oh, by the way, did you want to be an organ donor?' Might as well, I'm not going to be using them when I'm gone."
When it comes to people being hesitant on being donors, Barlow says the most common response is because of age. However, she says you're never too old to donate.
"The oldest person to donate tissue was 104 years old. If you're 105, I might let you give a pass. But other than that, I don't think there's an excuse. Everyone should be giving theirs up."