“The DNR has added the option to register as an organ, tissue or eye donor when you sign up for a hunting, fishing or fur-trapping license. And the DNR is simultaneously making all these options available online,” Suzanne Conrad is the CEO of the Iowa Donor NetworkConrad explains.
The change comes after the governor signed a bill creating what’s know as “Logan’s Law.” Family members worked with lawmakers to get the bill passed after 15-year-old Logan Luft of Charles City died in 2017 and his organs and tissue were donated.
Conrad says it’s important that you follow through when you see the question that asks if you want to be a donor.
“For one thing — your wishes will be known — and we hope that it will spark a conversation with your family members so that you let people know that you did this to prepare people so they don’t have to have those very difficult conversations
in a time of tragedy and a time of emergency,” according to Conrad.
Conrad says “Logan’s Law” and increasing the chances for people to register is a touching way to make something good come from a tragedy. She says that is a key result of most organ donations too.
“We hear time and time again from families that that was the only bright spot, was that they knew what their loved ones wanted and they were able to carry that out,” Conrad says. “And then we work with organ and tissue families for many years post donation — and we know that the families get a lot of comfort and support in knowing that their loved one in some way helped others.”
She says there is a long waiting list for organs. “Right now in Iowa we have about 600 people on the waiting list. About 550 of those people are waiting for kidneys or kidney-pancreas transplants. And then smaller numbers are waiting for hearts lungs and livers,” Conrad says.
You’ve been offered the opportunity to indicate you are an organ donor for some 20 years when you renew your driver’s license. Conrad says some licenses are only renewed every eight years — while hunting licenses are renewed annually and that gives more opportunities to ask people to sign up. And they are also working to educate that outdoor group about organ donation.
“With these opportunities to register as a donor — we take full advantage of that and try to have volunteers, recipients, donor family members, speaking at hunter safety classes,” Conrad says.
Figures show that 74% of adults in Iowa are currently registered as organ, eye and tissue donors. You can register as an organ donor anytime online at: IowaDonorNetwork.org