For some, survival is marked in days. For others, it stretches across years and even decades. Despite different hometowns, careers, interests and cancers, these survivors remain bonded through a singular experience: hematopoietic cell transplantation at City of Hope.
|Survivors celebrate at the 2009 reunion. (Photo by AmyCantrell.com)|
Soon thousands of these transplant recipients, family, friends and health-care professionals will gather for their inspiring yearly ritual: City of Hope’s 34th annual “Celebration of Life” Bone Marrow Transplantation Reunion on April 30.
Stephen J. Forman, M.D., the Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and chair of the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, will emcee the event.
The event will kick off with a morning press conference where two City of Hope transplant patients will meet the donors who saved their lives.
Marvin Ridgely, now, 70, a barber and former musician from Culver City, Calif., was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in 2007 and underwent a bone marrow transplant the next year. He will meet his donor, 28-year-old Lucas Vine, a former U.S. Navy SEAL from Carson City, Nev., who is now studying to become a doctor.
Jacob Diaz, 7, from Pomona, Calif., was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia and received his transplant in 2008. Jacob will meet his donor, 43-year-old Jordan Kotick of Princeton, N.J., a finance expert and host of a financial program on CNBC.
After a barbecue and other activities, survivors will gather with friends, family and health-care professionals for their annual group photograph — a tradition that documents another year of life worth celebrating.
City of Hope has performed more than 9,800 transplant procedures since the program’s inception in 1976, and the institution maintains one of the largest and most successful programs in the U.S.