Jeff Gordon Foundation Champions Marrow Donation
- Jul 27, 2006
- Team Hendrick
Four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon is no stranger to giving. Through The Jeff Gordon Foundation, he has provided support to several organizations committed to helping children with chronic illnesses and their families. Now, two of these partner organizations have given Gordon something in return. On Saturday, July 8, Gordon was presented with an award in recognition of his devoted support of The Marrow Foundation® and the Hendrick Marrow Program. The award presentation took place at the Jeff Gordon Network Fan Event at Chicagoland Speedway in front of 240 of Gordon’s most loyal fans. Courtney Hurd, Manager of The Marrow Foundation’s Hendrick Marrow Program, presented Gordon with the award on behalf of both organizations.
“Jeff Gordon is a true champion of our efforts to help those in need of a marrow or blood cell transplant,” said Dr. Jill E. McGovern, CEO of The Marrow Foundation. “His unwavering passion and personal commitment to supporting children and families is evident in everything he does, and we are pleased to present him with an award in thanks for all that he has done to help us save lives.”
Founded in 1997 by Rick Hendrick in partnership with The Marrow Foundation, the Hendrick Marrow Program works to increase public awareness of the need for marrow and blood cell donors by providing funds for marrow donor recruitment drives, and financial assistance to patients and their families for uninsured transplant-related expenses.
“It is a privilege to work with The Marrow Foundation and the Hendrick Marrow Program and I am proud to support them through The Jeff Gordon Foundation,” said Gordon. “These organizations play an important role in providing much-needed resources to children and families across the country in all aspects of their transplant journey.”
Gordon has been committed to helping increase awareness about marrow and blood cell donation for nearly a decade. During the 1997 Daytona 500, Gordon, along with Hendrick Motorsports teammates Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven, sported the toll-free number for the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) on their race cars. The drivers and the NMDP were all winners that day, with 16,000 calls made to the call center as a result of the promotion, and Gordon, Labonte, and Craven finishing the race first, second, and third, respectively.
In 2003, Gordon was invited to serve on The Marrow Foundation Board of Directors, and one year later he took his message of support all the way to Capitol Hill. Currently, Gordon hosts Sharing a Dream, a Day with Jeff Gordon, an annual event benefiting The Jeff Gordon Foundation and the Hendrick Marrow Program. The sixth annual event takes place October 11 in Charlotte, N.C., and will again feature an afternoon go-kart challenge and dinner with Gordon.
About the Hendrick Marrow Program
Rick Hendrick, Chairman and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports, established the Hendrick Marrow Program at The Marrow Foundation® in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he did not need a marrow transplant himself, he wanted to help other patients who did not have the resources to find a marrow match or to cover the uninsured transplant-related costs that are often barriers to treatment. The Hendrick Marrow Program works in collaboration with The Marrow Foundation to increase access to transplantation by raising support for the Foundation’s partner, the National Marrow Donor Program, in two key areas: donor recruitment and patient assistance.
About The Marrow Foundation
The Marrow Foundation is a partner of the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) that secures resources from the private sector to carry out the work of the NMDP. Located in Washington D.C., The Marrow Foundation was created in 1991 by Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., who was an early proponent of a national donor registry and a foremost advocate of the NMDP when it began operations in 1987. For more information, visit www.themarrowfoundation.org.
About the Jeff Gordon Foundation
The Jeff Gordon Foundation was established in December of 1999 by the four-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion to support the physical, social and intellectual needs of children and their families. The Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, The Make-A-Wish Foundation®, Riley Hospital for Children, The Marrow Foundation® in partnership with the Hendrick Marrow Program, and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital at NorthEast Medical Center in Concord, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.jeffgordonfoundation.org.