CORNELIUS, N.C. (May 11, 2011) – – Today, JTG Daugherty Racing received news that members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected the team as the first quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award.
The team was recognized for its efforts with six-year-old Jordan Jemsek, who was racing for her life. Little Jordan was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant in the midst of fighting Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML), which was brought to the attention of the race team by crew member Joey McCarthy.
Thanks to the efforts of individuals at JTG Daugherty Racing, Reese Towpower, Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., SPEED Channel, Charlotte Observer, FOXSports.com and so many others the word was spread, prayers were answered, money was raised and thousands of donors were registered.
“I think it is unbelievable the fact that we can make a difference in people’s lives by doing things that are so important, which takes little time away from us,” said Bobby Labonte. “To make such an impact on one person and then so many is a true testimony for our race team. We literally just got an update from an email that Jordan came home last Thursday and is doing well. That is such great news.”
“We are humbled to receive the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award,” co-owner Tad Geschickter added. “All of us at JTG Daugherty Racing are blessed to work in a sport that we love. With the rigors of the NASCAR season, it is easy to lose perspective on how lucky we all are. Our outreach to Jordan and her family was the right thing to do and was meant to help all the team members keep the season’s ups and downs in perspective. We certainly didn’t expect the recognition, but it is gratifying none the less. We will continue to keep Jordan and her family in our thoughts and prayers as she recovers and hope that our continued efforts to raise awareness for Bone Marrow Match testing will help heal many people. We also would like to give a special thanks to Reese Towpower and Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. for all of their support and our media partners. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
“It’s an honor for JTG Daugherty Racing to be recognized with such a prestigious award in the motorsports industry for our work with Jordan Jemsek and DKMS,” said co-owner Jodi Geschickter. “With the help of so many, we were able to raise awareness on the best ways to help her as well as so many others affected by leukemia. We’re grateful to have a platform in motorsports to reach out into our communities to help make a difference and we’re appreciative of the media who supported our efforts.”
JTG Daugherty Racing’s partners echo the team owner’s sentiments.
“It’s a great recognition for the team and what surprised us the most is how a single person can save the life of a patient waiting for a bone marrow transplant,” said Francis Bernart, Vice President of Marketing, Cequent Consumer Products. “Being involved has raised awareness in ourselves. By taking seconds out of your day to “get swabbed,” you can potentially be the match that a patient is waiting for. During the NASCAR All-Star week, we will continue our efforts to keep this in the limelight to generate as much awareness as possible.”
“Congratulations to JTG Daugherty Racing,” said Eric Boonshaft, Senior Brand Manager of Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. “We are proud to be a partner and support the bone marrow drive in honor of Jordan. This effort really showcased what the JTG Daugherty Racing family is all about.”
DKMS, which is the world’s largest marrow donor center, is grateful to the team and sponsors for their continued efforts. Worldwide, DKMS donors have provided marrow and peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) for more than 25,000 transplants. DKMS now has over 2.7 million registered bone marrow donors.
“We are eternally thankful for the support of JTG Daugherty Racing and Bobby Labonte, who with Reese Towpower, Highland and Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., helped DKMS bring awareness to millions of people and register over 3,000 potential bone marrow donors,” said Alina Suprunova, VP of Partner Relations for DKMS. “However, 6 out of 10 patients who can benefit from a transplant never receive one. Together we will continue the fight against leukemia and hope to inspire thousands of other fans to go to www.getswabbed.org and help us save lives.”