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Daniel's Law still making waves throughout Texas and the U.S.

"Our family still suffers losing our dear brother and I don't want families to endure heartbreak like we did."

MIDLAND, Texas — One Midland woman was the catalyst in passing a state law, in memory of her brother who she believed was unfairly unable to receive an organ transplant.

Kathleen Kirwan Haynie has made a huge impact on people with special needs. When her brother Daniel died from something that might have been prevented, she went to work.

Daniel Kirwin was a representation of what it meant to be a true Midlander.

"Daniel was a Midlander born and raised, he was a local celebrity, everybody knew him, he ran in the streets of Midland everyday." Said Kirwan-Haynie.

Daniel was born with Down syndrome, but that didn't stop him from achieving anything.

"Adversity was not a barrier for Daniel, he excelled at so many things and stole the hearts of everyone he met," said Haynie.

Credit: Rachel Robinson

Daniel was diagnosed with kidney failure, which he suffered from for many years, and in 2015 he passed away. He was never given an opportunity to get a transplant.

"Daniel was never considered for a kidney transplant though he was otherwise healthy simply because he was Down syndrome," said Kirwan-Haynie. 

After the death of her brother, Kathleen knew something had to be done, and something had to change.

"I'm a proud Texan and I know Texans can do better than that, I know that our special needs in Texas are valued and we just need to speak up for our most vulnerable and be sure that they have every opportunity that everyone else does," said Kirwan-Haynie. 

Kathleen went to work, contacting local lawmakers like Brooks Landgraf to help and sure enough, a new law was passed.

Credit: Rachel Robinson

"Daniel's law is basically so special needs Texans get a fair chance at life when it comes to organ transplants," said Kirwan-Haynie. 

Kathleen hopes Daniel's law will help other families like hers.

"My hope is that they see interviews like this and they say we were told no, we're going to pursue this, we're going to go back and maybe we have a chance at life now. Our family still suffers losing our dear brother and I don't want families to endure heartbreak like we did," Kirwan-Haynie said.