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Florida Gulf Coast Univ. student gave stem cells to save a stranger’s life

Dec 01, 2021 by Gift of Life Donor Story

Logan was walking across the beautiful campus at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2018 when he saw a group of fellow students swabbing people to join the Gift of Life registry as potential stem cell or marrow donors.  

“My uncle was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, and his brother happened to be his match,” said Logan. “I knew how rare it is for people to find a match within their family [only 30%] and wanted to help another family because mine had been so fortunate.” 

When Gift of Life called Logan in August 2020 to tell him he was a potential match for a patient, he was all in. 

You’re simply the vessel and someone else’s life-saving treatment happens to be inside you. I think it is worth any time spent to give someone else a chance at a cancer-free life.

“They told me that my potential recipient was going to try other treatment options, but his doctors wanted to know if I would be willing to donate in the future if I was needed,” said Logan. “I was excited and, of course, said yes. Evidently the treatment did not work, and I was again called in summer 2021 to officially go through the donation process.” 

Logan’s recipient was a man in his late 40s diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Disorder, a form of blood cancer. 

“I called my family as well as a friend who is a doctor and they were all proud of me for deciding to continue on and donate blood stem cells,” said Logan. “My family even came from Wisconsin to stay in Florida with me during the donation process. I was working in the Emergency Room as a Medical Scribe at the time, and one of the ER physicians helped do my vein assessment.” 

Logan was extremely busy during the time the donation was scheduled. Not only was the fall semester starting, but he was also beginning a new job in a cardiology office and was running several organizations on campus. 

Gift of Life stem cell donor Logan is thrilled he was able to help a stranger fight blood cancer. “Everyone at Gift of Life was amazing, going above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable during the process,” said Logan, whose father Ward accompanied him on his day of donation. 

After returning home, Logan found an opportunity to share his experience with others on campus. 

“I run an organization called Global Medical Brigades on campus at FGCU,” he said. “Gift of Life’s Recruitment Manager Traci Ackerman came to one of our meetings to share Gift of Life’s mission with my team members. I was able to share my donation story and some of them decided to join the registry during the meeting.” 

Being a stem cell donor and helping someone he has never met survive blood cancer also has a personal impact on Logan. 

“Donating was a special experience for me, and I would love to meet my recipient,” he said. “This gave me a fresh perspective and made me appreciative of my health. It does not take much effort on your part to be a donor. You’re simply the vessel and someone else’s life-saving treatment happens to be inside you. I think it is worth any time spent to give someone else a chance at a cancer-free life.” 


Gift of Life stem cell donor Logan and his dad Ward enjoying their "donation vacation" in Florida.

A native of Wisconsin, Logan is a student at Florida Gulf Coast University and is applying to medical school, and after his experience, is now especially interested in Hematology/Oncology. He is a medical scribe at Cardiology Consultants of Naples, and in his free time enjoys reading, playing beach volleyball, and tennis.