Blood and Marrow Transplant Thrivers Come Together for MSK's 23rd Annual Celebration


“There is nothing that energizes us more than seeing you return to your lives. So tonight, we say ‘thank you,’” said Sergio Giralt, Chief of MSK’s Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service.

It was a fitting kickoff to a night of laughter, hugs, and heartfelt tears, as Memorial Sloan Kettering held its 23rd annual celebration for people who received blood and marrow transplants.

On October 2, more than 200 MSK patients came from half a dozen states, bringing along hundreds of family, friends, donors, and caregivers to celebrate with them. They were joined by the doctors, nurses, and other staff from the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Service who care for people during their complex and grueling return to health after a transplant.

As always, the event featured incredible reunions. Geri Hotard, a BMT recipient from Connecticut, brought the crowd to their feet — many of them in tears — when she introduced Michael Meister, whose bone marrow donation helped save her life. Mr. Meister traveled to the event from his home in Germany, and now these former strangers share a lifelong bond.

Dr. Giralt remarked that just as the celebration grows every year, so too does the number of BMT recipients cared for by MSK. In 2018, for the first time, MSK doctors will perform more than 500 adult transplants. He also promised that MSK will continue its efforts to improve access so people can get the transplants they need. He noted that because of the MSK Cancer Alliance, many more people are receiving lifesaving transplants.

Click through the slideshow above to learn more about the inspiring people at this event, who have not just survived transplants but are thriving!


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Two questions;
What is the number of people living with MDS in the US?
What is the average survival rate for high-risk patient who does not receive a bone marrow transplant ?

Dear Liz, for the most accurate statistics, we recommend that you contact the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service at 800-4CANCER. Thank you for your comment.

Thanks to the BMT team at MSKCC for all you did for me Save my life the 8th floor team the best its 6 months to the date April 9th transfusion day. Like to meet other survivors keep me posted please. Special thanks to Dr. Sauter and his Team.

On 3/28/19 it will be 7 years as a survivor.

I cannot say enough about the MSKCC BMT program.

The 8h floor was fantastic. I started getting too well which moved me to the 14th floor (all in all in a month I was moved 3 times; that was unfortunate. Not only is the 14th floor rather depressing after the 8th, but the quality of care is notably less. More patient per nurse, slow response to issues, HEPA filters instead of its own air supply separate from the rest of the hospital.

I'd encourage more of what the 8th floor does. The nurses did things for me that those on the 14th didn't do and were beyond my ability to do, such as after promising me it was my last love, moved me again and basically left the job to me.

I can't emphasize enough the difference in the quality of care.

Dear Steve, we’re glad to hear you’re doing well. Best wishes to you!

Is there a date for the 2019 BMT celebration. I live in FL and want to start making travel plans to attend this event. Thanks

Hi David,

The BMT celebration this year is scheduled for Monday, September 9, which is earlier than it has been in the past. Thank you for your interest!

Best Wishes

Is it still on for Sep 9th?

Dear David, yes, the event is still on for September 9. We will forward your information to the organizers of the event and let them know that you’re interested. Thank you for your comment and best wishes to you.