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Nascar driver honors organ donation advocate who died at age 25

Stepfather talks about his decision in 2012 to donate kidney to daughter

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – As thousands of Nascar fans entered the Martinsville Speedway, a driving force is being remembered.

Nascar driver, Joey Gase, wants to give Meredith Haga, who died at age 25 in July, a day at the track.

“My big connection with Meredith is that we are both big believers in organ donation” Gase said.

Gase, whose mother donated her organs, put a picture of Meredith on his car hoping to bring awareness to organ donation.

Meredith's mother, Allyson Haga, shared what it's like seeing her daughter honored on Gase's car at the Nascar Cup race. 

“It means the world to me, because it gives a national platform for organ donation,” Haga said.

When an autoimmune disease nearly killed Meredith in 2012, her stepfather, Bruce Blessing, decided to donate one of his kidneys to her.

“I just knew I needed to get tested to help a stepdaughter and the best friend I've ever had,” Blessing said.

Blessing's transplant gave Meredith six more years of life.

While Meredith's mother misses her daughter every day, she's thankful for the opportunity to honor her passion for life.

“You're never too old and you can touch multiple lives with a single donation,” Haga said.

Gase said he hopes this race will encourage more Nascar fans to become an organ donor.