For Family and Saving Lives

Ward and Beverly Carter at Home in Texas

By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen  ::  Photography by Mark Humphries

We always knew we would come back to Texas someday, and returning back to live in Boerne and Cordillera Ranch has been a truly exceptional homecoming!” says Beverly Carter. Husband, Ward, agrees, “Texas has remained a constant in our lives even as we moved all over the Midwest.

The Texas natives met at Stephen F. Austin State University. She grew up in Houston and Dallas while he hails from Longview. The college sweethearts married soon after graduation where he double majored in biology and business and she studied fashion merchandising and marketing. Thanks to a fraternity brother’s encouragement, Ward landed a job with Abbott Laboratories and off the young couple went to Shreveport, Louisiana, putting the Lonestar state in their rearview mirror. 

Ward’s career began working in the diagnostic’s division in sales. “I was very fortunate being just one of two recent graduates in the training program.” With hard work and time, his path led him to positions interfacing with laboratories, marketing, commercial operations and ultimately General Manager, overseeing regional and national accounts. It also took the couple, and eventually their children, to live in a multitude of cities: Dallas, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit and back to Chicago. 

By the time they were in Chicago for the second time, all three sons — Brandon, Christopher and Sean — were moving back to Texas, with all three graduating from North Texas State University, far from their parents in the windy city. “They have all settled in Flower Mound, with other family also living in the Dallas area. Dallas has always seemed like our home away from home,” says Ward. Not only were their children in Texas, so were Beverly’s parents and Ward’s parents, his brother and wife, his sister and her family. The pull of family and Texas were strong. In early 2016, Ward learned of a position with BioBridge Global, a San Antonio-based nonprofit client he had worked with for a long time. “The prospect and chance to work with outstanding people came together,” says Ward.   

With the job in hand they needed to find a home. “When we were considering moving back to Texas, it was important to find a community and a house that would allow us to have my parents live with us,” Beverly said. “We also wanted to be close to my parents,” Ward said. Ward’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Edward H. Carter Jr., had retired to San Antonio over 14 years earlier and lived in the Stone Oak area. Beverly led the home search, originally seeking something inside 1604. “I’d go out and just drive around and I luckily stumbled on Boerne and Cordillera Ranch. It was a chance find! Once I saw the neighborhood, I fell in love!” says Beverly. They found a home with room for her parents and a lot that met their requirements: space on either side and acreage behind them. In October 2016 they all moved in. Beverly says, “My parents, Jane and James Horrell, are now both over 91 years old, and doing well, but we needed a small and supportive community for them. Boerne and Cordillera have been wonderful!” Ward concurs, “Being close to my parents, and being able to have Beverly’s parents move in with us, brought all of us back together again.” While his parents both passed in 2017 and 2018, he is thankful for what they shared, saying, “The time we had with my parents was a real blessing.”  

After a 32-year career, Ward retired from Abbott and accepted a position at BioBridge: to lead their laboratory operations team with BioBridge Global as the Chief Operating Officer, for QualTex Laboratories which is also the testing lab for South Texas Blood and Tissue, along with GenCure. “This has been a very rewarding opportunity for me to use my work experience to support a critical part of the healthcare service in San Antonio. Blood and blood components, plasma, tissue collections and cellular therapy products are critical to the health and wellbeing of residents of South-Central Texas. Being part of helping to save lives, well, I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than that,” says Ward. The scope encompasses overseeing donated product safety testing, including testing to identify people who have had exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 who may be eligible to become COVID convalescent plasma donors. QualTex also provides testing for donated source plasma, donated tissue and organs, and performs safety testing for area military bases and blood banks. Emphasizing the importance of the life-saving nature of his job, Ward says, “I really enjoy the work and honoring the people involved. Great respect and care are needed for donors and recipients. It’s a human giving to another human.” That aid includes corneas in coordination with the San Antonio Eye Bank and organizations for tissue. “We prefer to work with biomedical organizations that are using the donated tissues within our region here in Texas, but we also know that tissues are in short supply worldwide, so we do work with organizations outside our region, and in some cases outside the U.S. After we recover tissue, we work with organizations that process the donation into therapeutic products for use in hospitals — for orthopedic surgeries, skin grafts, heart surgeries and more. In fact, one tissue donor can help as many as 75 patients,” explains Ward.

Serving as a board member through The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation, a part of the BioBridge Global organization, Beverly shares the mission. “We are always trying to bring awareness to our community on just how critical blood and plasma donations are for Boerne and San Antonio area patients,” she says. It is also personal, adding, ‘’I’m sure everyone has been affected in some way from COVID-19. I lost a dear friend from it and encourage anyone that has recovered to please donate their plasma to help others in need. If giving blood is one thing that I personally can do, then I’m all for it! There is not a substitute for blood, and other people’s lives depend on it.” Her service includes working on the annual Red and White Ball, a fundraising event that supports lifesaving programs, services and equipment needs, including new blood mobiles and establishing the Texas Cord Blood Bank. Though it was cancelled due to the pandemic this year, Beverly is looking ahead, “Mark your calendar for November 13, 2021 at the Tobin Center for next year’s gala.”

The Carter family grew since the move, with the two eldest sons marrying in 2016. In addition, they have since made Ward and Beverly grandparents. Brandon and wife Alexandra are parents to sons Jameson and Rory, while Christopher and Allison have a daughter named Sloan and are expecting another baby in October. Soon brother Sean will marry his fiancée Katie, the daughter of one of Ward’s high school classmates, in Horseshoe Bay in September.

The future is full of family. While their sons like to join them for a round of golf, or at the Gun Club shooting clays and skeet, the grandchildren love the Club pool, so there will always be more fun times. It was part of the plan. “Cordillera Ranch and the Club are a big draw!” says Beverly. “It’s good to be in Texas.”

DONATE (Courtesy of BioBridge Global)

BioBridge Global offers many ways to participate in our life-saving mission. As a nonprofit organization, BioBridge Global and its subsidiaries, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation, rely on generous donations from the community to assist patients in need.

From donor recruitment to patient transfusion, each precious gift is handled with care. Donations of convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors are helping patients in their battle against the virus while blood and platelets give trauma victims, surgery, cancer and transplant patients a chance to see a healthier tomorrow.

Your donation to The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation helps our entire organization continue its mission of saving and enhancing lives. Each dollar not only supports sustaining our new procedures to ensure the safety of our donors and patients during this time but assists in new medical advances. If you would like to donate, you can text GiveTexas to 44-321.

Blood Donation

Making a blood donation is one of the most intimate and priceless gifts one can give. Join us in this life saving mission by giving blood or hosting a blood drive.

Marrow Donation

People suffering from leukemia or other life-threatening blood diseases often need a bone marrow/stem cell transplant to survive. Signing up for the Be The Match Registry simply means you are making yourself available to these patients who might one day need you. Registering only takes about 10 minutes and consists of paper work and a cheek swab. We invite your company or organization to also consider sponsoring a marrow registration drive to help us strengthen the chances that a patient will find their ideal match in their time of need.

Cord Blood Donation

Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells and can be used as an alternative to bone marrow for treating many life-threatening diseases. Mothers may donate their umbilical cord blood to the Texas Cord Blood Bank. Registration is easy and available at any of our participating hospitals across Texas.

Tissue Donation

Each year, thousands of Americans suffer needlessly while awaiting a tissue transplant. Find out more about our Tissue Center and consider signing up to be a tissue donor by visiting our GenCure website.

Give to our Foundation

The mission of The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation is to serve as an advocate to increase community awareness and develop financial and other resources in support of BioBridge Global and its subsidiaries.

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