A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Reunions

2014 BMT/Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Reunion
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.
 
Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the "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. Each year, two patients who needed to find a donor prior to their transplant meet the individual who eventually saved their lives. These are donors who have registered with the National Marrow Donor Program. It is the first time patients and donors actually meet since the life-saving donation. There are currently one million potential donors on the Be the Match Registry who have volunteered to give the gift of life.


 
 

2013 BMT Reunion

On Friday, May 10, two bone marrow transplant recipients – a Simi Valley boy who just turned 8, and a 63-year-old Woodland Hills man whose parents were Holocaust survivors – met the donors who saved their lives. The event was the emotional highlight of the 37th annual “Celebration of Life” Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion. In the audience, some smiled, some cried, but all understood.  Read more >>
 
 
 
 
BMT Recipient: Ryan Compton, age 8 - Simi Valley, Calif.
‘Thank you for saving my life.’

In November 2010, a few days before her 5-year-old son Ryan was to undergo a bone marrow transplant from a donor they had never met, Maggie Compton made a print of Ryan’s tiny hand on a blank greeting card, which she planned to send to his donor with her own thank-you letter.
   
BMT Donor: Barry Crackett, age 34 - Northumberland, England
'I just hope that if my baby ever needed a donation there would be someone to step up.’

Barry Crackett was sitting alongside his wife Jessica’s hospital bed in England admiring their newborn son, Sol.  They’d planned for a peaceful water birth at home, but sudden complications led to a hospital birth and a rather traumatic entry into the world. Now that things were calm, and Sol was fine, Crackett finally could read the letter.
   
BMT Recipient: Joseph Mandel, age 63 - Woodland Hills, Calif.
‘You just did a lot of praying that they would eventually find somebody.'

It takes cancer survivor Joseph Mandel awhile to open his Woodland Hills front door because he’s on crutches. His leg injury, however, is not due to disease but to a recent skiing accident.  Mandel, who underwent a stem cell transplant  from an unrelated donor in 2010, is back to his old passions, sailing down slopes, white-water rafting, and is even courting new loves like sky diving.
   
BMT Donor: Nevo Segal, age 25 - Israel (currently living in London)
‘I think that one cannot refuse an offer to help save someone’s life.’
 
In November 2010, a few days before her 5-year-old son Ryan was to undergo a bone marrow transplant from a donor they had never met, Maggie Compton made a print of Ryan’s tiny hand on a blank greeting card, which she planned to send to his donor with her own thank-you letter.
 
Read story
 

2012 BMT Reunion

2011 BMT Reunion






Jerome meets Janelle


View full size video >>
Anita meets Carolyn


View full size video >>
"The Marrowettes"


View full size video >>
 
   

2010 BMT Reunion

Musician George Winston has new goal: Say ‘thank you’ inGerman

Musician George Winston has new goal: Say ‘thank you’ in German

George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages ...

April 11, 2014

 
When a child has cancer: What friends and visitors shouldknow

When a child has cancer: What friends and visitors should know

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, friends and relatives of the family often don’t know what to say, what to do, how to react. Some visitors linger for hours in the child’s hospital room, further ...

February 6, 2014

 
When a child has cancer: One family’s advice to otherparents

When a child has cancer: One family’s advice to other parents

Gavin Wolfrank was only 7 months old in 2006 when his mother noticed the “blueberry” bruises on his tiny hand. Her normally active, happy baby suddenly turned lethargic and inconsolable. Ultimate...

January 30, 2014

 
A simple act in Rhode Island, a lifesaving transplant inDuarte

A simple act in Rhode Island, a lifesaving transplant in Duarte

Stem cell donations are usually an anonymous gift, with people who want to help others donating their lifesaving cells simply from the rightness and joy of being able to save another human being....

January 1, 2014

 
Stem cell transplants can take toll on sexual health, studyfinds

Stem cell transplants can take toll on sexual health, study finds

Blood and bone marrow stem cell transplants can be lifesaving procedures for patients with blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. But they can take a heavy physical and emotional toll. ...

November 4, 2013

 
About the Program
Stephen J. Forman, M.D., chair of hematology and hematopoietic cell transplantation, shares his views on the essence of care at City of Hope. He highlights the bone marrow transplant program (BMT) and the program's growth over the years.
 
Other videos:
 
Past BMT Reunions
Each year, City of Hope invites bone marrow transplant recipients and their families to attend the "Celebration of Life" event. View highlights from past reunions.
Physicians in the United States and throughout the world are welcome to refer patients to City of Hope.

There are a number of options you can choose from to refer a patient:

  • Call 800-826-HOPE (4673) to speak with a patient referral specialist.
  • Fax the patient face sheet to 626-301-8432
  • Complete an online callback request form
The focus of the Division of Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Leukemia Research is to improve the understanding of leukemia stem cells in order to develop cures for leukemia and other hematologic malignancies.
City of Hope's partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers, includes ThinkCure!, an innovative, community-based non-profit that raises funds to accelerate collaborative research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles to cure cancers.
 
NEWS & UPDATES
  • For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the...
  • Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substa...
  • Deodorant, plastic bottles, grilled foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products … Do any of these products really cause cancer? With so many cancer myths and urban legends out there, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as risk factors, preventi...
  • Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, acco...
  • George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks h...
  • Few decisions are more important than those involving health care, and few decisions can have such lasting impact, not only on oneself but on relatives and loved ones. Those choices, especially, should be made in advance – carefully, deliberately, free of pain and stress, and with much weighing of values and pr...
  • Using a card game to make decisions about health care, especially as those decisions relate to the end of life, would seem to be a poor idea. It isn’t. The GoWish Game makes those overwhelming, but all-important decisions not just easy, but natural. On each card of the 36-card deck is listed what seriously ill,...
  • Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or ...
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines fo...
  • Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu,...
  • Hormone therapy, which is prescribed to women for relief of menopausal symptoms such hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, has recently seen a decline in popularity (and use) due to its link to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. But City of Hope researchers have found that menopausal h...
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms can’t be narrowed down to a single cancer, but they can be described by a defining characteristic: too many blood cells. The diseases bring with them a host of frustrating, potentially life-altering symptoms, and management of the diseases and their symptoms is crucial. An upcoming ...
  • More than 18,000 researchers, clinicians, advocates and other professionals will convene at the 105th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting taking place in San Diego from April 5 to 9. With more than 6,000 findings being presented over this five-day period, the amount of information can...
  • Cancer of the prostate is the No. 2 cancer killer of men, behind lung cancer, accounting for more than 29,000 deaths annually in this country. But because prostate cancer advances slowly, good prostate health and early detection can make all the difference. Many prostate cancer tumors don’t require immedi...
  • Despite advances made in detecting and treating nonsmall cell lung cancer, its prognosis remains grim. Even patients whose cancers are caught at their earliest stage have only a 50 percent chance of five-year survival. This poor prognosis is due in part to the cancer’s ability to resist treatment, renderi...