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Logan Luft donation legacy honored with plaque in Floyd County Treasurer’s Office driver’s license site

Logan Luft donation legacy honored with plaque in Floyd County Treasurer’s Office driver’s license site
Members of the family of Logan Luft, who died in 2017 and whose donated organs and tissues saved five lives and helped 21 additional people, pose by a new tribute plaque unveiled Monday morning at the Floyd County Treasurer’s Office. From left are Logan’s aunt and uncle, Julie and Jerry Hegtvedt; his grandparents, Ed and Jean Hegtvedt; sister Lilly Luft; mother Wendy Luft; aunt Kim Isakson; brother Landon Luft; and father Lenny Luft. Press photo by Bob Steenson
By Bob Steenson,

Logan Luft’s legacy regarding organ donation continues to grow, and now people getting their driver’s licenses at the Floyd County Treasurer’s Office will have a visual reminder that they can choose to be organ donors, too.

Representatives of the Iowa Donor Network, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Treasurer’s Office and members of the Luft family gathered Monday morning to unveil a permanent plaque mounted on the wall of the driver’s license station, telling Logan’s story and asking people to consider checking the box on their license to be a donor.

Logan Luft donation legacy honored with plaque in Floyd County Treasurer’s Office driver’s license site
Plaque installed at the Floyd County Treasurer’s Office driver’s license station. Press photo by Bob Steenson

Heather Butterfield, the director of strategic communications with the Iowa Donor Network, explained to the group of people at the event that the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles is incredibly important to the cause of organ donation.

“Of the 1.6 million Iowans who have already said yes and registered as organ and tissue donors, about 97% of them register when they’re here at the DMV getting their driver’s license,” she said, referring to driver’s license stations like the one operated by the Treasurer’s Office in the courthouse.

Butterfield said the DMV Tribute Plaque program started in 2020, and the tribute unveiled Monday is the 21st plaque in the state so far.

“Each tribute plaque honors a donor, living donor or recipient that is from the community where that plaque is installed. Why that’s so important to us is so that when people come in here and get their driver’s license they see someone either that they know personally or they see is from their community, whose life have been transformed in some way by donation,” she said.

“Our hope is that that then inspires them to say yes when they are asked that question whether or not they want to be a donor when they get their driver’s license,” Butterfield said.

The Iowa Department of Transportation helps design, create and print the plaques, which have mostly been installed in state-run DMV offices. It is optional for county-run DMV offices to get a tribute plaque, and Floyd County is now the fifth county-run DMV to get one, Butterfield said.

“We thank you for your support and saying yes and allowing us to hang this plaque in Logan’s honor. It’s a program that we are incredibly proud of,” she said.

Logan Luft, then 15, was killed in an ATV accident on the Fourth of July, 2017.

Wendy and Lenny Luft, his mother and father, noted that it was the fifth anniversary of Iowa passing Logan’s Law, which they pushed to have passed and that requires anyone getting a state fishing or hunting license be offered the opportunity to register as an organ and tissue donor, similar to checking the box on a driver’s license.

Wendy said she and Lenny had recently traveled to Washington, DC, to advocate for making legislation like Logan’s Law available nationally.

“The exciting part was when going around to our congressmen, every single one of them already knew about Logan’s Law, and were very well versed on what it was and how important it was,” she said, adding that they learned that other states were passing similar legislation.

“And so I feel like ripple effects, right? It’s just increasing and it’s drawing more awareness and we’re really, really proud of that,” Wendy said.

Talking to the Press after the event, both Wendy and Lenny Luft talked about the importance of having conversations with family members about organ and tissue donation.

“Sitting around the dining room table at supper one night, we talked about organ donation and Logan shared that he really wanted to be an organ donor,” said Wendy. So when the question was thrust upon them “in the most difficult and devastating moment of your life,” it was easy to answer.

“There’s this momentum that organ donation is growing in the state of Iowa,” she said. “And I think a part in that is due to the fact that someone like Logan, who was a young kid, had made that decision on his own. He had such a huge impact and I think people see that impact.”

Lenny said they talk all the time about different ways to inspire people to sign up to be donors, and Logan’s tribute plaque in the Treasurer’s Office is one of those ways.

Wendy said the biggest fear a parent has when a child dies is that child will be forgotten. Donating Logan’s organs and tissues means a part of him lives on, saving the lives of five people and helping 21 others.

A 15-year-old Minnesota girl received Logan’s liver, a 7-year-old Kentucky girl his heart, a 3-year-old girl a kidney, a 39-year old man another kidney and a 52 year-old woman from North Dakota his pancreas.

Wendy and Lenny Luft said they still keep in touch with all of them, seven years later.

“They are just as much of our family as Logan was,” Wendy said. “We talk with them regularly. You know his pancreas recipient just had a birthday last week and we chatted about that, and a little girl up in Minnesota who got his kidney, she’s doing really well. And Ember, his heart recipient, is just doing amazing. She just had an opportunity to ride in a parade for organ donation in Louisville, Kentucky.”

On the plaque Wendy is quoted saying, “Life doesn’t have to end with death. It gave me a sense that Logan is still with me. It’s a feeling of never having to say goodbye to Logan.”

Lenny is quoted on the plaque adding, “When you lose a child you want something to live on. Organ donation got us through an extremely difficult time. It gave us purpose and hope. Meeting our donor families and sharing their lives with our family has meant everything to us.”

Butterfield, during the plaque unveiling, said to the Luft family, “You guys have been such incredible advocates for donation from day one. … Every time you guys talk about him, it inspires so many people. And so we are so thankful to you guys for doing that.”

Logan Luft donation legacy honored with plaque in Floyd County Treasurer’s Office driver’s license site
Members of the Floyd County Treasurer’s Office staff pose with members of the Luft family for a recent unveiling of a tribute plaque dedicated to Logan Luft, who was killed in an accident in 2017 and who had indicated on his instructional driver’s permit that he wanted to be an organ donor. Pictured are (from left) Jolene Patterson, Treasurer Jessie Holm, Sherry Sprung, Landon Luft, Wendy Luft, Lilly Luft, Lenny Luft, Lisa Taylor, Lisa Schwickerath and Ashley Adams-Gansen. Submitted photo



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