Aundrea H. Katz

For years, I always gave a few dollars to the people standing in front of the market raising funds for City of Hope, not knowing where or how the money was distributed. But now, I have just completed a 19-day stay at City of Hope for a stem cell transplant. It was the most life-affirming experience of my lifetime.

Before entering City of Hope, to say that I was scared and apprehensive would be an understatement. Just to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma is shocking enough, but to have to leave my family, friends and work, not knowing what was going to happen to me, left me very alone and frightened.

From the time I entered City of Hope until the day I left, the care that I received was amazing. Every nurse who entered my beautiful room introduced themselves and called me by my first name, which immediately put me at ease. They kept coming in asking if I was comfortable, if there was anything I wanted or needed. Even the cafeteria called me every evening to see if I was going to order dinner.

The nurses not only made me feel good, they also took a sincere interest in the comfort of my husband and son. If I felt depressed, they sent in a psychologist. When I asked for a rabbi, Rabbi Olga Bluman came in every day that she was there. And when she wasn’t able to come in, I was visited by the rabbi from the Pasadena Synagogue.

The entire experience was very life-altering in the most positive way. It is one thing to hear about City of Hope from the outside; it is another to experience it from the inside. I do believe that people who donate money should know the quality and passion with which the care is given. I know that I wasn’t singled out to be treated with such dedication and commitment. They treat everyone that way.

I just want to say thank you.