Over the last 20+ years, I’ve attended various fundraisers, dinners and golf tournaments supporting The City of Hope — which is the official charity of choice for the International Home Furnishings industry. However, it was not until this past week that I truly understood, and deeply felt, the remarkable impact that this incredible organization is making in people’s lives.

Team of home furnishings industry executives and professionals that will work hard to ensure funding for The City of Hope’s critically important research continues (Lorri Kelley, front row, 2nd from right)

On the surface, I’ve always understood that The City of Hope was a leading cancer research, treatment and prevention center with the goal of eradicating all forms of cancer in our lifetime. In addition, many people that I admire and respect have donated a lot of their time over the years to this worthy cause, and attending the fundraising events has always been a great way to network and stay in touch with my industry friends.

To date, charitable efforts made by so many generous individuals in our industry have raised over $54,000,000.

Recently, I was asked to join a committee that would help lead the effort of launching a Women’s Health Initiative for City of Hope within the Home Furnishings Industry. I was honored to join, and our launch meetings were held August 4th at their Duarte, CA campus. It was here, among a serene Southern California backdrop, that I received my most meaningful introduction to this amazing organization, and how dedicated they are to their mission of adding time to their patients’ medical journey and to saving lives.

Now, that is a mission!

Founded in 1913 as a facility to house and care for tuberculosis patients, City of Hope is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation designated by the National Cancer institute.

Once the cure for tuberculosis was found, they shifted their efforts to studying cancer – as well as diabetes and other autoimmune diseases – and dedicating their research to finding a cure.

On a daily basis, City of Hope delivers scientific miracles that help make their patients’ lives whole again. Their doctors partner with scientists from around the globe to transform laboratory breakthroughs into treatments that outsmart and take significant strides toward eliminating cancer, in addition to diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Compassion is at the heart of their approach, as they care for the whole person – not just the body – so that their patients’ post-cancer life can be rich and rewarding. This is where their theme, “The Miracle of Science and Soul” derives its meaning. This often dark and fearful journey also affects the patients’ loved ones, therefore they also focus on the care and nurturing for all those involved in the patients’ treatment and recovery.

I was simply awestruck by how passionate they are about accomplishing their mission, and how every person you speak to at these inspirational and serene facilities are truly angels on earth.

INTERESTING ‘CITY OF HOPE’ FACTS 

  • They are a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and their research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation
  • They have over 300 patients from all over the world, and an average of 30 experimental drugs in the pipeline at any given time, as they push for clinical trials in search of a cure
  • Breakthrough cancer drugs, including Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin are all based on technology pioneered by City of Hope
  • Surgeons have performed more than 10,000 robotic procedures for prostate, kidney, colon, liver, bladder, gynecologic, oral and other cancers
  • They have performed more than 12,000 life-saving bone marrow and stem cell transplants

With the very passionate Brittany De La Torre, Director of Corporate Philanthropy, at City of Hope

A LIFE TRANSFORMED

In the following brief slideshow, I’d like to take you on a virtual tour of the passionate people we met, and the places that we visited during our time at City of Hope.

My goal was to capture the essence of how transformative my time at City of Hope has been, and to better understand the remarkable people and research that is being done.

UP TO THE CHALLENGE

We leave this remarkable place, and end our incredible day, with a sense of thankfulness – both for our own health, as we are not fighting this difficult battle with cancer ourselves, and that such a refuge exists that is so passionately focused each and every day on putting an end to this dreadful disease.

I left with a strong sense of pride in what I experienced, incredible respect and admiration for the warriors I met, and a renewed sense of purpose in doing everything I can to support this worthy cause.

It is an honor to represent BDI in these efforts, and to serve alongside so many talented people within our compassionate industry who are dedicated to doing what we can to support these amazing and inspirational professionals on their journey towards finding a cure.

Needless to say this day changed and inspired me, and will challenge me to do all I can to help keep them focused on finding it!

Find out more about this special place and how you to can help at www.cityofhope.org

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