November 4, 2004
David Cloud is alive today because of a bone marrow transplant he received in 1992. His donor, Kirk Kirkpatrick, was tissue typed on January 27, 1990, at the first Because I Care event. Kirkpatrick hoped his marrow would be a match for his 18-year-old cousin, leukemia patient Bryan Quinn, but it wasn’t.
Kirk later learned that he was a match for a 26-year-old Oklahoma leukemia patient. Kirkpatrick, who was 36 at the time, agreed to the transplant.
Cloud said he had wondered for 12 years what it would be like to meet Kirkpatrick. Cloud admitted that upon meeting Kirkpatrick, he did not have enough words to express his gratitude. “What do you say? ‘Thank you’ doesn’t cover it,” he said.
Referring to Because I Care, Cloud said he does know “There is a purpose for this organization, and there is good that comes out of it.”
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple,” Cloud said.
Kirkpatrick was tissue typed at a walkathon organized at the Pine Tree football stadium in Longview, Texas, to help raise money for medical expenses for Quinn and Al Edwards, another Longview man with leukemia in need of a bone marrow donor. Both men had a bone marrow transplant in the fall of 1990. Sadly, Edwards died in 1991, and Quinn died in 1993.
Kirkpatrick never considered saying “no” when asked to be Cloud’s donor. “I feel very blessed that I had such a rare opportunity to have such a wonderful experience, to actually see it work,” Kirkpatrick said of donating his marrow. “It was such a great thing that came out of the original tissue typing drive, one Saturday in Longview,” He was one of 63 people tissue typed at that first Because I Care event.
“Knowing that David’s life has been extended because of Kirk and the efforts of all the wonderful people who have helped with Because I Care validate the work that we are doing,” said Amy Hill, co-founder of the organization. “Kirk was David’s needle in a haystack.”