If you want to read something that will move you to tears, read Lauren Stewart’s account of meeting the man who received the heart of her fiancée, dirt-track racing star Bryan Clauson.
Clauson died last August 7 from injuries suffered in a crash at the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race.
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Considered the nation’s top short-track dirt-car driver, Clauson won four USAC national championships and finished 23rd in last year’s Indianapolis 500. He also raced in NASCAR for a time. Clauson, 27, had planned to run 200 races last year, and had run 116 at the time of his fatal crash.
Stewart and Clauson were scheduled to get married Feb. 4.
Clauson was an organ donor and after his death, his organs helped save the lives of five different individuals, one of whom Stewart calls “Dan the Heart Man” — the man who received a transplant of Clauson’s heart.
After Clauson’s death, a organ donation program called The Bryan Clauson Race to Save Lives was established. Clauson’s family and Stewart set up an initial of getting 200 people to sign up in honor of the 200 races Clauson planned to run.
To date, more than 6,000 people have registered as donors, helping some genuine to come from tragedy.
gallery: Bryan Clauson’s racing career in photos