ATLANTA – February 23, 2016 – Thanks to a personal connection to the cause, NASCAR driver Joey Gase has a passion for sharing the importance of organ and tissue donation that rivals his passion for racing. When he was just 18 years old, his mother suffered from a brain aneurysm and passed away. Joey made the decision to honor her wish to be an organ donor, choosing to save lives through her untimely death. The experience sparked a fire in Joey to spread the word far and wide about how the decision to become a donor can truly save lives.Gase will be in Georgia to race in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Heads Up Georgia 250 but on February 24 at 1 p.m., he will unveil his car at the Forest Park Department of Driver Services, 5036 GA-85, Forrest Park, GA (http://www.dds.ga.gov/locations/dllocations.aspx?csc=59) and advocate for donation. The design highlights the need for donation, and also features the images of several Georgians who have been impacted by donation.
Photos of the Puckett family, whose son, Thomas, was an organ donor and of Derrick, Thomas’ organ recipient, will adorn Joey’s car when he takes to the Atlanta Speedway on February 27th.
“Sharing my mother’s story has really helped to get past my grief,” says Gase. “To know that mom’s still living out there in different ways.” And by featuring local transplant recipients and donor families when he races, Joey puts a face on donation that Georgians can relate to.
Every year, thousands of lives are saved by organ and tissue donations. Here in Georgia, more than 5,700 people are waiting for a transplant that will save their life. Each designation matters, every person who documents their decision to save lives in Georgia could one day save eight lives, and improve dozens more.
More than 123,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant in the United States today. Nationally, organ donation provides the gift of life to more than 25,000 each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants, and hundreds of thousands more are helped through life-enhancing tissue transplants. Because of the generosity of organ donors, thousands of people are able to spend more time with family and friends.
Almost everyone can donate to help others, regardless of age or past medical history. In fact, age is rarely a factor when determining who can give the gift of life. Additionally, all major religions support donation as an act of charity. To become an organ donor visit www.donatelifegeoriga.org or indicate that decision on your driver’s license or identification card.