Beth Quinn is shown in 2015 at the Zimmer Cancer Center in this file photo from WILMA magazine. (File photo by Terah Wilson)
Beth Quinn, co-founder and president of the She Rocks Foundation died Wednesday morning at the age of 57.
Quinn launched She Rocks in 2014, months after she was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. She teamed up with friends Mary Barto and Tracy Brown, who also battled ovarian cancer and later died in 2015, to launch the nonprofit in the Wilmington community.
She Rocks brings awareness to ovarian cancer and raises funds for research and to help women undergoing cancer treatment.
“In addition to her adoring family and countless friends, Beth Quinn will be remembered by so many people in the community she loved and served. She truly left Wilmington a better place, as her community service contributions are too numerous to list,” Barto said Wednesday. "She had an extraordinary capacity for love and compassion and a relentless passion for fighting for the causes that mattered to her and so many others."
She Rocks has raised more than $720,000 for ovarian cancer research and overall patient support since it was formed in 2014, Barto said.
Quinn was also named to the Old North State Award in 2017, a recognition by the Governor of North Carolina to persons for exemplary service to the state and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty, and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina, according to Barto.
Along with her involvement in She Rocks, Quinn was also a senior vice president at First Citizens Bank in Wilmington and a founding member of Cape Fear CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women).
"She has had a tremendous impact, and you will hear this from everyone in the business community. I feel that she was especially motivational to professional women in Wilmington," said Cheryl Nabell, past president of Cape Fear CREW and commercial and personal lines producer/manager at JJ Wade & Associates.
Nabell said that Quinn was one of the reasons why she joined Cape Fear CREW years ago and eventually becoming the board's president last year.
“She was always a cheerleader for other women and for everybody in the business community,” Nabell said. “She was just a hard worker and followed through on her commitments, She gave her all to everything she did.”
When Quinn began She Rocks, she “made an impact on the medical community” and used all her contacts to “bring energy to the organization," Nabell said.
“Her legacy will continue to help other women and people in the community. She is going to be missed. Her passing is leaving a void in the community,” she said. “Although she was sick for a very long time, this is still very sudden.”
In 2016, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, a recipient of funds from She Rocks, named a room in honor of Quinn.
Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, according to the American Cancer Society.
“I believe with all my heart, that someone will find a cure,” Quinn said at a Greater Wilmington Business Journal Power Breakfast event in December 2016. “We have to fund cancer research, we want to give people hope.”
Elise Rocks, Cape Fear CREW board president and commercial real estate appraiser for JC Morgan, described Quinn as "a successful businesswoman who was guided by her faith. Her devotion shone brightly and touched everyone she met."
"Beth’s service, leadership, joy and humor in the face of adversity are a true inspiration for this community," she added.
Nancy Guyton, a member of She Rocks' board and local attorney, said that Quinn reached out to everyone.
"She was so inspiring, you just wanted to be a better person by being around her," Guyton said. "She also wanted to help you be the best person you could be.”
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said he knew Quinn for over a decade and said she was involved in a variety of issues with the community.
“Over the last five-and-a-half years of her life she took on this cause of ovarian cancer awareness and raised a tremendous amount of money … and brought a lot of people together,” Saffo said. “She had a significant impact on furthering research that will save lives in the future.
“We are going to miss her. She was a bright light in this community, and she worked tirelessly in what she believed in. She fought a great fight and its something that will live with me forever ... she made it her cause to bring awareness to everybody about this dreadful disease."
“A testament to the person she was, Beth chose the word ‘Joy’ as her one word of focus in 2018, knowing full well her prognosis,” Barto said. “On a personal note, Beth’s joy and love of life were contagious."