Joey Gase

NASCAR Xfinity driver Joey Gase signs autographs for young fans at the Kalona Public Library on Thursday.

A NASCAR driver and a children’s book author teamed up at the Kalona Public Library last week to promote organ donation.

NASCAR Xfinity driver Joey Gase and author Brenda Cortez visited the library Thursday to read to children and raise awareness about organ donation.

Gase, a Cedar Rapids native, talked about his mother’s death in 2011 and how she wanted to be an organ donor.

“We found out that she was able to help save the lives of 66 people,” Gase said. “It’s not only saving them, but their whole family. It’s a ripple effect.”

He urged people to register to be organ donors and talk about it with their families.

“It’s hard to make that decision,” he said. “It’s better to make that decision ahead of time. Organ donation isn’t something people talk about unless they’re connected to it.”

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James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at

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