Clauson’s Gift of Life And Its Impact on Organ Donation

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A champion dirt-track racer’s death is hitting the racing community hard, but you may not know Bryan Clauson saved the lives of five people. 

Clauson died after a crash in a Kansas race last weekend. The 27-year-old was on pace to compete in 200 races this year. He had 27 victories in 116 starts, and led three laps in the Indianapolis 500 in May.

There is hope that his name and record will bring more attention to his last gift of life. 

A four-time USAC national champion, Clauson was aiming to become the winningest driver in series history.  Clauson was leading the race last weekend, but he never made it to the finish line.

“It was a shock to so many people that that happened, because he was so well-known,” Cary Wencil, Hospital Liason for LifeSource, said.

His family says he will live on.  On social media, they posted that Clauson was a donor, and his organs saved at least five people.

“You will never meet anyone who is more appreciative of their life than someone who was at death’s door and all of a sudden gets to get up in the morning,” Wencil said. 

This type of gift is priceless, but Wencil says Clauson’s high profile status adds even more value. 

“I think when somebody who is well-known, famous, followed, adored, idolized says that this person was an organ donor; it shows people there is this ability to continue on beyond your life,” Wencil said.

Wencil says there’s usually a spike in registered donors after someone in the public spotlight helps whittle down the list of 120,000 people waiting for transplants in the U.S. 

“If everyone who could be a donor would be a donor, we could eliminate — not just decrease — but eliminate the waiting list,” Wencil said.

Bryan Clauson reached the finish line of his life.  Thanks to his generosity, other people will get a few extra miles. 

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