Because I Care is a nonprofit corporation which was organized in January 1990 in Longview, Texas. The organization was co-founded by Sharon Sanders and Amy Hill and a group of concerned citizens determined to help Bryan Quinn and Al Edwards, two East Texans, both of whom had been stricken with a life-threatening form of leukemia. In order to have a chance to survive, Bryan and Al each needed a bone marrow transplant. Neither of them had a match within their families.
Because I Care started in earnest with a small group of friends organizing a walkathon to benefit the two families. This simple idea, however, took on a life of its own. Clubs, organizations, churches, schools, and businesses got involved. The media picked up the story, and the mayor declared the day of the walkathon “Because I Care Day.”
As a result of these first efforts,
♥ 63 people were tissue-typed, adding to the 300 who were typed the previous month
♥ Over 80 units of blood were drawn
♥ $34,000 was raised to help the families with the costly donor search and medical expenses.
Since that time, BIC has added over 35,000 people to the Be The Match Registry. Some of these have been fortunate enough to match a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant and have had the opportunity to give the “Gift of Life.”
At the National Marrow Donor Council Meeting in Minneapolis on Nov. 5, 2015, Anita Quinn & Because I Care received a Partnership Award for 25 years of recruiting potential donors. During those first 25 years, BIC put over 24,000 potential donors for the Be The Match Registry since January 1990. In an effort to find a donor for her son Bryan, Anita Quinn helped start, Because I Care, a volunteer recruitment group.
Bryan Quinn and Al Edwards
BIC co-founders, Sharon Sanders and Amy Hill