Thrilled to the marrow

August 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Renee Firato, 12 years post-transplant!      (Photo by Deanna Bolio)

Renee Firato, 12 years post-transplant! (Photo by Deanna Bolio)

By Deanna Bolio, Communications Specialist

Representatives from Stanford Blood Center were honored to be invited to the Stanford Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion held Saturday, July 27. This life-affirming event, held on the lawn in front of the Li Ka Shing Center, celebrates former patients who are a year or more post-transplant.

This year’s reunion was the 25th for Stanford Hospital’s Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Program. The event allows former patients to renew friendships and reunite with their doctors in a festive environment. Under large sun umbrellas, survivors enjoy lunch with their friends, families, and transplant program staff. Ten- and 20-year survivors are honored with special lei ceremonies.

For the last several years, Stanford Blood Center has been present to lend support and celebrate patients’ successes. Many bone marrow transplant recipients receive blood transfusions in the days following the infusion.

“For a while, I kept track of how many transfusions I received,” said Renee Firato. “There were so many that I lost count.”

Firato, now 12 years post-transplant, is expecting her first child later this year.

All transplant patients are invited to tell their stories, from diagnosis to the current day. Often choked up, they  thanked their families, caregivers, and doctors. Overall, the tone was joyful. Many survivors talked about starting families, traveling, or other personal accomplishments achieved in the years since their transplants.

Renee Firato shared this message of gratitude for Stanford Blood Center donors:

 “Thank you for your donations! People like you save people like me! Today, I’ve celebrated 11 more birthdays and I’m 7 ½ months pregnant. Thank you!”