Monday, Feb 06

Racing for the Gift of Life in Phoenix

Racing for the Gift of Life in Phoenix Joey Gase Photo

NASCAR driver Joey Gase will showcase his car featuring donor Gloria Estrada on the bumper at the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (ADOT MVD) location where she had registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor when she turned 18 years old—seven years before she passed away.

The grand reveal of the car to Gloria’s family will start at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at the Mesa/Gilbert Regional ADOT MVD office at 4123 E Valley Auto Dr., Mesa, AZ 85206 ahead of his weekend race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale.

This story highlights how important ADOT MVD’s partnership is with Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) because their team gives Arizonans the chance to say yes to organ, eye and tissue donation. And the connection to the gift of life goes one step further for some ADOT MVD employees.

“In every situation I’ve encountered, including that of my father-in-law—a kidney recipient from a living donor—there is a universal gratitude for the gift of extra life they have been granted by donation,” says Bonnie Palomo, east regional manager for ADOT MVD and a living kidney donor. “I am proud to be part of an organization that advocates and empowers our community to make the choice to check that box and save lives.”

Joey Estrada and Melissa Garza, Gloria’s parents, honored Gloria’s life motto to always help others whenever possible by supporting her decision to donate.
 

Gloria Estrada, 25, offered gifts of tissue, cornea, hair and whole-body donation for research after she passed away in May 2022. Her photo will be featured on the race car.

“That’s where we’re finding our peace,” Melissa says, “just knowing that she has and will help so many.”

After Gloria passed away from a sudden onset of strokes, she offered the gifts of tissue, corneas, as well as hair and whole-body donation for research (the final two made possible through other donation agencies).

Please remind your audiences: Arizonans can join the DonateLifeAZ Registry when they apply for or renew a driver’s license or state ID at an ADOT MVD or select authorized third-party office. They can also register online at DonateLifeAZ.org.

Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) fulfills the lifesaving and life-healing mission of organ, eye and tissue donation as the state’s federally designated organ procurement organization. Our work is made possible by the generosity of Arizona donors and their families. As also a tissue recovering agency and eye bank, DNA collaborates with health care and community partners to facilitate the gift of life. DNA is a vital link for transplantation and encourages Arizonans to sign up to be donors at DonateLifeAZ.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @DonateLifeAZ

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