Annual event draws thousands in support of City of Hope program
|The Celebration of Life brings together City of Hope BMT recipients and their families.|
In 1976, doctors, staff and family gathered around Mushtaque Jivani to watch him blow out the lone candle on a birthday cake. Mushtaque was a pioneer: the first survivor of a hematopietic cell transplant (HCT) at City of Hope. The "birthday" marked the first anniversary of his life-saving operation.
Thirty-one years later, that birthday party has grown into "Celebration of Life," City of Hope's annual Hematopietic Cell Transplantation Reunion. The April 27 event drew thousands of transplant recipients, family members and even marrow donors back to the City of Hope campus for an afternoon of fun, food and emotion. Most of all -- as the name suggests -- it was a party about life.
"We do this year after year and it never gets old," says Stephen Forman, M.D., the Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopietic Cell Transplantation and clinical director of the Division of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology. Noting that the total years of lives saved by City of Hope's HCT team adds up to more than 19,000 years, he adds, "That's longer than recorded human history."
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