BRISTOL, Tenn. (WEHT) — As Nascar driver Joey Gace’s car sped around Bristol Speedway Saturday night, a Kentucky family was there cheering for a special reason.
Gace is an advocate for organ donation after losing his mother and donating her organs. On Saturday, Gace had a new photo on the side of Car #51 honoring a Sturgis, Kentucky native.
Travis Durham passed away in June and was an organ donor. He grew up in Sturgis and is a USI alum.
Travis’ sister Katie Crowe says her brother was always smiling and thinking of others. Gace got in touch with the family and asked for permission to feature Travis on his car as a Donor Hero.
“It’s just another way to honor my brother for giving the gift of life. It’s just an amazing moment – I’m not even sure the words to describe it,” Crowe said. “To pick him to be their Donor Hero, especially for a NASCAR race, is really amazing.”
Travis’ family was in the stands at Bristol.
“He’s looking down on all of us now and smiling and he’s just thankful that he was able to save somebody,” Crowe said.
The family doesn’t know how many people Travis’ organs have helped, but they hope to find out within the next year.
(This story was originally published on Sept. 19, 2020)