CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, 11 tracks across the country participated in The NASCAR Foundation Blood and Marrow Drive and collected more than 1,800 units of blood and added more than 330 new registrants to the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. The drives were established to help those in need in the racing communities.
The generosity and spirit that motivated Americans to get involved and serve and remember others was evident Monday at those 11 tracks. The 1,800-plus units of blood collected will help save the lives of up to 5,400 people, and with two more drives scheduled for later this fall, the additional units of blood will help that many more.
“My work with the American Red Cross has shown me the importance of blood donations,” said Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. “The NASCAR Foundation Blood and Marrow Drive is a great way to build awareness within the NASCAR family, and I would like to thank everyone who participated.”
In addition to giving blood, fans also were encouraged to join the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. The drives added more than 330 new donor registrants to the list, and that number is expected to rise once all the drives are complete. The Marrow Registry offers vital support and hope for thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases who search the Registry every day for donors who could provide the life-saving marrow.
The NASCAR Foundation worked in conjunction with the Hendrick Marrow Program and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. The Blood and Marrow Drives were held at the following tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Dover International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International. Indianapolis Motor Speedway held its drive in August, Lowe’s Motor Speedway will host its on Sept. 14, and Richmond International Raceway will hold its drive in November, bringing the total number of participating tracks to 14.
In honor of the many acts of kindness displayed by the donors, the tracks worked hard to make the experiences memorable. Some tracks thanked donors by allowing them to take a spin around the track in their own cars, while other tracks provided tasty lunches, snacks, t-shirts, hats and other commemorative items to participants.
About the NASCAR Foundation
NASCAR launched the NASCAR Foundation in January 2006. The Foundation is a 501c 3) non-profit entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and its commitment to serving communities. The Foundation supports a wide range of charitable initiatives that reflect the core values of the entire NASCAR Family. The NASCAR Foundation will use strength of the sport and its people to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. For more information on the NASCAR Foundation, please visit the website: www.nascar.com/foundation.
About the Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson announced the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006. Jimmie Johnson drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet in NASCAR’s top series, the Nextel Cup. The mission of the Foundation is to assist children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. The Foundation strives to help everyone, particularly children, pursue their dreams. For more information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visit www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.
About the Hendrick Marrow Program
Rick Hendrick, chairman and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports, established the Hendrick Marrow Program at The Marrow Foundation in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he did not need a marrow transplant himself, he wanted to help other patients who did not have the resources to find a marrow match or to cover the uninsured transplant-related costs that are often barriers to treatment. The Hendrick Marrow Program works in collaboration with The Marrow Foundation to increase access to transplantation by raising support for the Foundation’s partner, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), in two key areas: donor recruitment and patient assistance.