NASCAR

NASCAR Driver Races to Shine Light on Organ Donations

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A NASCAR driver is racing to call attention to an issue close to his heart – organ donations.

Joey Gase raced Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in the Autotrader Echopark Automotive 500.

Gase’s hood was covered with handprints from the families of organ donors -- and those whose lives they saved.

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"We have 200 handprints on our hood,” Gase said. “We do something called handprints of hope."

When 6-year-old Raven Goff of Burleson died in January, her parents decided -- through their own pain -- to bring life to complete strangers.

"Her eyes still see, her heart still beats,” said Raven’s mother Tanner Trujillo. “That's worth it, you know, just knowing."

Her father, Shane Goff, said Raven’s memory lives on.

"On the worst day of my entire life was seven other families (with the) greatest day of their entire life,” Goff said.

He started a nonprofit group, Raven’s Light Foundation, to raise scholarship money, encourage acts of kindness and increase awareness for organ donations.

In Austin, Diana Evans received a heart transplant three years ago that saved her life.

"It's so far been almost a perfect match completely,” she said. “I have little to no rejection at all."

Gase seeks to honor all donors' families and to show how their donations can save so many others, he said.

For him, it's also personal.

His mother died in April 2011 of a brain aneurism.

Her donated organs and tissue helped 66 people.

"We knew if my mom could no longer continue her life she wanted to do whatever she could to help others continue theirs,” Gase said.

On his back bumper, Gase posted photos of his mother, next to Diana Evans and Raven Goff.

"What he's doing is incredible,” Evans said. "I cannot think of a better way to honor my donor and honor the family."

The group Donate Life Texas, which runs the state’s donation registry, sponsored Gase’s car.

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