On November 14, 2019, at BIC’s annual banquet, Jason Justiss of Longview met Mike Hulen, the stranger for whom he had donated stem cells in 2015.

In May of 2013, Justiss was recruited for the Be The Match Registry by Because I Care at a skeet shoot in Gilmer, which was benefiting his wife’s cousin.

In 2015, Jason was notified that he matched a man with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. When asked if he would be willing to donate stem cells to the patient, he said, “How could I not?”

Unknown to Jason at the time was 54-year-old Mike Hulen of Waltham, Massachusetts who was in critical need of healthy stem cells that could possibly provide a cure for him.

At the banquet, Hulen spoke about his experience. “I had been through chemo and radiation for quite some time and one day my doctor walked in and told me, ‘The stars have aligned for you,’ when he informed me that I had a donor match.”

Justiss and Hulen had spoken several times on the phone and followed one another on Facebook in the past 3 years, but they never had the opportunity to meet. BIC made that meeting possible.

Mike saw Jason’s posts on FB about how he and others took boats to Houston to help flood victims in 2017. Hulen said I thought, “This guy’s got a good heart. He’s not only a hero to me but to others too.”

Recipient Mike Hulen and Donor Jason Justiss