Ringing in the new year with a float ride for hope

Ringing in the new year with a float ride for hope

Orange County cancer survivor and fellow patients will unite on City of Hope’s Rose Parade float

Orange County resident Simon Bray is thrilled to be among the City of Hope grateful patients chosen to ride on City of Hope’s Rose Parade float on Jan. 2. The 50-foot-long, nearly 17-foot-tall float, entitled “Expanding Hope,” will feature animated butterflies, symbols of hope and transformation.

Rose Parade 2023

Bray and the other riders will share their stories of perseverance and gratitude to City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, for providing lifesaving therapies and compassionate care.

Bray, an analyst for horse racing TV network FandDuel TV, chose to share his experience with cancer so that others diagnosed with a similar disease do not feel alone.

Bray found out he had a blood cancer called multiple myeloma after his vertebra collapsed in the middle of the night following a painful back injury at the gym. “Those were probably some of the darkest times for me because I'd been told I had cancer, but I wasn't treating it. I had to go through the [back] surgery first,” Bray said.

About three months later, he started his cancer treatment at City of Hope with Amrita Krishnan, M.D., an internationally recognized multiple myeloma expert. He received radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

“It used to be that work was No. 1, work was No. 2, and maybe family life and vacations were No. 3,” Bray said. “Now, it's family first. Being home during the pandemic has only helped reinforce this for me.” Bray recorded live FanDuel TV segments from his home during the pandemic but is now back onto a regular schedule. Bray is very careful because his lifesaving treatments have left him immunocompromised and more at-risk of serious symptoms if he contracts COVID-19.

Turning the corner on cancer in 2023

City of Hope’s float encapsulates this year’s Rose Parade theme, “Turning The Corner.” Leading health care professionals will ride or walk alongside their cancer patients, whose strength, determination and positive outlook served them well during their journey, turning a corner to beat cancer.

Bridges on the float represent City of Hope bridging the health disparities gap in health care and expanding its geographical footprint, which now includes four network locations in Orange County and City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center — the most advanced comprehensive cancer center in the county.

To make an appointment at any of our five Orange County locations, call 888-333-HOPE (4673).