Approximately 125 stem cell transplant recipients gathered in the Rockefeller Research Laboratories with family, friends, and Memorial Sloan Kettering staff on October 30 for the Center’s 13th annual Stem Cell Transplant Survivors Celebration. The event, which drew more than 500 guests, allowed Memorial Sloan Kettering transplant patients to meet one another; reunite with doctors, nurses, and other staff; and share memories about how the procedure restored their health and changed their lives.
Several Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians addressed the gathering, describing advances in stem cell transplantation and observing how gratifying it is to see patients return to the celebration year after year. Three transplant patients also spoke. They each recounted the moment they learned they had cancer and praised the care they received at the Center throughout their treatment and recovery.
Radiologist Donald Hulnick recalled that a year after his transplant a Memorial Sloan Kettering doctor congratulated him on his return to health, saying he had “the right stuff.” After contemplating those words and why he had been able to make a full recovery, Dr. Hulnick reached a slightly different conclusion: “Some of the answer, I think, is just plain luck, but I also know that an important part of the answer is Memorial Sloan Kettering. This place has ’the right stuff.’”