Joey Gase is committed to honoring organ and tissue donors through his platform as a NASCAR driver because of his personal connection to organ and tissue donation. Following his mother’s death in 2011 from a sudden brain aneurysm, Gase made the decision to donate her organs, eyes and tissues, which ultimately touched the lives of 66 individuals in desperate need of a transplant. Since then, Gase has become as passionate about donation as he is about racing. In 2015, he was awarded NASCAR’s inaugural COMCAST Community Outreach Award for his work supporting organ, eye and tissue donation and donor families. Rick Ware Racing is excited that Gase will pilot the No. 53 entry in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.
The COVID-19 pandemic altered Donate Life Georgia’s plans to host an in-person event and meet & greet with Gase, but supporters of organ and tissue donation were able to participate in a virtual Handprints of Hope celebration during the month of March. Messages of hope and gratitude were placed on 133 handprints that will adorn Gase’s car for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“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 message of hope and gratitude from 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 In Georgia; more than 4,400 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 107,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant in the United States today. Nationally, organ donation provides the gift of life to more than 30,000 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.
To register as an organ and tissue donor visit www.DonateLifeGeorgia.org, say yes when receiving or renewing your driver’s license or when obtaining your hunting, fishing or trapping license through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.