IOWA – Donate Life’s ‘Light in The Darkness’ float honors 44 families of deceased donors, three of whom are from Iowa during Rose Parade.
The honorees include Kayte Mosher of Ottumwa, Mike Nelson of Des Moines and Doug Stewart of Muscatine.
Michelle Nelson lost her husband back in 2016 to a house fire and said he donated his heart valves, cornea, tissue and more.
“I actually got a letter from the man that received his cornea about two months after Mike passed away. The man actually wrote me a letter and that was the first time he was able to see enough to write,” Nelson said.
Alex Stewart’s father passed away in 2017 when his liver failed for a second time and was on the wait list to receive a new one.
Stewart said his father’s corneas were donated to research.
“It was very special, because he always said that when he goes to use anything they can. It was always his motto, because being on the receiving end of it it kind of gives you a different outlook on donations and everything,” Stewart said.
The mission of the Donate Life float is to save and heal lives by sharing the gift of life through the importance of donating organs, eye and tissue.
Family members were able to assemble parts of the float before it made its national debut.
“Every single rose that was on that float had a tag on it and it was a dedication to some family member,” Nelson said.
A new law in Iowa now allows people who have a hunting, fishing or fur harvester license to become a donor. It is called ‘Logan’s Law’ and is named after 15-year-old Logan Luft who passed away and donated his organs to save many lives.
“We are thrilled that Iowa is in the forefront of taking those steps to make it easier for people to be able to become a donor,” Nelson said.
According to Iowa Donors Network between September first and November 30th 692 people have signed up to be a donor through Logan’s Law.
“It’s really cool that we can continue to get the message out about donation and really show people what it can do and how it can affect families in a very dark time,” Stewart said.
Donor registrations are coming in from 94 of 99 counties at the moment. Iowa Donors Network said the youngest to sign up is 15-years-old and the oldest is 85-years-old.
Click here to learn more about how you can register to become a donor.