Celebration of Life Bone Marrow Transplant 48th Reunion

BMT Reunion

City of Hope’s bone marrow transplant program started with just two physicians and three beds in 1976 when a young college student was admitted as a patient and became the hospital’s first successful bone marrow transplant. The student was one of City of Hope’s longest-surviving BMT patients and would remain in remission for the rest of his life.

City of Hope's bone marrow and stem cell transplant program is now one of the largest, most successful programs of its kind in the U.S. We perform more bone marrow transplants than any other hospital in the region and are among the top three hospitals in the nation in terms of total transplants performed. City of Hope has performed nearly 19,000 transplants.

The laboratory and clinical researchers have led the way in making transplants more effective and safer, with fewer side effects. The advent of BMT marked an important step forward in the battle against leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases of the blood and immune system, and City of Hope has played a crucial role in the advancement of the procedure. With growing success with nonrelated matched donors and, most recently, partially matched donors, BMT is saving more lives than ever before.

The “Celebration of Life” BMT reunion is an annual highlight at City of Hope. The reunion started with just one patient, his family, his doctors and a cake with a ‘1’ candle celebrating the one-year anniversary of his transplant. From there, the reunion grew to a small group of patients and their families. Only this time, Stephen Forman, M.D., and several nurses got together and cooked spaghetti the night prior to the celebratory lunch party held in a conference room at City of Hope.

Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, the reunion was one of City of Hope’s biggest events each year, bringing together more than 4,000 transplant patients, donors, family members, doctors, nurses and other medical staff. Proudly wearing buttons indicating the anniversary of what patients call their “second birthday,” they returned to the Duarte campus to reunite, rejoice and reminisce in their common bond as survivors. As part of each reunion, two patients also meet their donors for the first time to thank the donors for giving them the gift of life.

BMT Reunion Highlights

In 2024, the reunion returned to an in-person celebration on May 3rd.

2024 BMT Reunion Highlights Video
2024 BMT Reunion Group Photo

Press Conference

BMT Main Tent