(Atlanta, GA) – LifeLink partnered with NASCAR Driver Joey Gase to honor Officer Jody Smith on the #52 LifeLink car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in early March. Officer Smith loved his work as a Georgia Southwestern University Campus police officer, was engaged to be married and looked forward to a full life when he was tragically killed in the line of duty in December. His family was not surprised to find out that Officer Smith had previously registered as an organ donor and they helped LifeLink carry out his decision resulting in multiple lives saved and improved through organ and tissue donation.
Prior to race day, Gase visited the Georgia Department of Driver Services Customer Service Center in Locust Grove to share his personal experience as a donor family member and to honor the life of Officer Smith, as well as donor families in general. Recipients, donor families, registered organ donors and members of the law enforcement community who worked with Officer Smith were invited to leave handprints and signatures on the car. These personal tributes to organ donors, transplant recipients and healthcare professionals served as inspiration for NASCAR fans about the power of donation.
As a result, 14 media stories promoted the LifeLink partnership, thousands of people engaged over social media outlets and there were a total of 12,254 registrations during the period from February 24 to March 5, 2017 compared to 61 during the same time period last year.