About 18 months ago, at 5 p.m. on a Friday night, I was told I had cancer; multiple myeloma to be more specific. I was leaving on a fishing trip to Montana at 5 a.m. the next morning. I was dumbfounded, as I never expected this diagnosis.
I knew there was only one place for me to go and that was City of Hope. I am 75 years old and live in Southern California. I have supported City of Hope for at least 50 years.
I got in touch with Dr. Stephen Forman, who told me that I should go and enjoy my fishing trip, and that he and City of Hope would take care of me when I returned. Boy, was I relieved!
For about one year, we tried different drugs, which worked well for a while but then caused a very bad rash. It was time to try something different. Dr. Forman suggested that I get in touch with my identical twin brother, Tom, who lives in New York, and ask if he would be willing to come to City of Hope, take the necessary tests and give me his stem cells. Being a great loving brother, he said yes. Traveling from New York, he dedicated last July and August to getting and doing whatever I needed done.
The first week of September 2013, I registered at City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital to undergo a transplant procedure of the over 5 million stem cells my brother donated for me. It has not been an easy road. The doctors, nurses and support teams never gave up on me. They took care of me as if I was their only patient. Needless to say, I felt the love. I also had incredible support from my wife and children, who stayed with me day and night. I had a cheering section of about 100 friends and relatives who constantly sent their good wishes and prayers.
It is now December 2013. I am in remission. In the past months, I have gone from not being able to stand on my own to using a wheelchair, then a walker, then a cane and now nothing. I never would have had the success that I have enjoyed without the dedication of my family, both at home and at City of Hope.