Donate Life Virginia, a statewide coalition of organ procurement organizations, eye banks, transplant center and others committed to donation and transplantation will serve as Primary Sponsor for the Joey Gase and the Jimmy Means Racing #52 car in the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 25. The race is part of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Donate Life Virginia serves to save the lives of Virginians by working to increase the number of registered donors in the Commonwealth while promoting organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. Members of Donate Life Virginia include:
- Inova Transplant Center
- LifeNet Health
- Lions Medical Eye Bank
- Mountain Region Donor Services
- Old Dominion Eye Foundation
- The Sentara Transplant Center
- University of Virginia’s Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center
- VCU Health System –
- Hume-Lee Transplant Center
- Pauley Heart Center
- Virginia Transplant Center, Henrico Doctors’ Hospital
- Washington Regional Transplant Community
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Donate Life America
- National Kidney Foundation serving Virginia
- United Network for Organ Sharing
- Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association
- Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters
- Donor family and transplant recipient representatives
Gase is currently in the Top 20 in the NASCAR Nationwide Driver Standings and has competed in every Nationwide race this year.
Gase’s mother, Mary Jo, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in April 2011. Just 18 at the time, Joey made the courageous decision to donate her organs and he has become an advocate for donation since. His car is regularly adorned with the face of his mother and/or others who have given the Gift of Life making his one of the most unique cars in all of NASCAR.
Gase regularly makes appearances at hospitals and donor awareness-related events. In the past year alone, he has advocated for organ, tissue and eye donation at more than 100 events, has been featured as a member of the Donate Life float in the Festival of Roses Parade, been featured on ESPN multiple times and done dozens of stories for local television, radio and newspaper outlets.
His hard-racing style, humble attitude and willingness to share his story has won him a loyal following at racetracks across the country. He has also developed a strong following on social media and is a popular personality at Organ Procurement Organizations from coast-to-coast.
He says the ability to share has been invaluable.
“I think it’s really helped both of us [Joey and sister Ashley] get past all that. To just know that mom is still living out there in different ways.”