Bone marrow transplants offer a second chance for people with life-threatening blood cancers and other hematologic malignancies. City of Hope performed its first bone marrow transplant in 1976. Since then, thousands of patients from virtually every state and dozens of countries have undergone bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplants at City of Hope.
City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the annual “Celebration of Life" event on the Duarte campus. The reunion has grown to more than 6,500 attendees from all over the United States and overseas. The reunion is a joyous day for everyone in attendance — physicians, nurses and former patients — as they celebrate the victories they have attained in fighting cancer. The day also features performances by former patients who entertain their fellow survivors and their families.
The patient-donor meeting is an emotional highlight of the event. Recipients, though overwhelmed with curiosity and the need to express their gratitude, can only dream of meeting the strangers who saved their lives. City of Hope makes that dream come true for two patients every year.
The annual reunion also enables physicians and researchers to advance the science of stem cell transplantation through the sharing of the findings and advances at the Karl G. Blume-Gerhard Schmidt Memorial Lecture held in conjunction with the reunion. The event commemorates the work and dedication of the late Gerhard Schmidt, M.D., who joined City of Hope's hematology program in 1977 and has made numerous contributions to the field throughout this career.