Saturday, April 13, 2013


  Big thinking precedes great achievement!

Dr. Karl Blume 1938-2013

 It is at this time of year that I celebrate life and my bone marrow transplant birthday. It was 15 years ago that I first met Dr. Blume at Stanford. I had relapsed after a very short remission from non-hodgkins lymphoma Stage 4. I  requested my HMO to have a consult with Stanford for a possible stem cell transplant. Fortunately, for me, I was given an appointment with the "chief" of the department, Dr. Blume. I like to think that it was because I was so special, but could have been that I just won the lottery for patient assignments for the day. Looking back, I did win the lottery, by getting to know this remarkable man.  He strode into the exam room with a broad grin on his face and greeted me warmly with his thick German accent.  In just a few minutes time, he explained that there was hope for my future and in fact, there was even a small possibility of cure. My husband said eagerly:"We'll do it" I remember turning to him and thinking "We will? I will???" (since as a nurse, I understood the potential risks with this extreme therapy!)

1st Stanford transplant 1987 David

 Dr. Blume started the Morrow Transplant unit at Stanford in 1987. A pioneer in the development of transplantation as a potential cure for people with leukemia and lymphoma, he was a "visionary". I have met the first patient and often wonder what it must have been like for him at his consult.  He was 34, and had an aggressive form of leukemia and if untreated,he would be dead in 2 weeks.  He understood the treatment was not yet proven effective in adult blood cancers,but he was offered that glimmer of hope and grasped it tightly with both hands! 

1st City of Hope transplant 1976 Jivani

Today literally, thousands of lives have been saved because of his research and work. Between the City of Hope, where he started in 1976 with the first successful transplant and Stanford, the count is over 15,000. 

  Even though he was the "founding father" of this program, he was always most proud of the patients he treated. He loved life and helping people. At our annual transplant reunion, he would greet us with warm hugs,always surrounded by several former patients. 





My 10th anniversary

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."

1 comment:

Cowgirl said...

Very nice tribute to a 'hero'. I am thankful to him as well because otherwise we would never have become as close as I know we are (?yes?) you and cherish you K-grrl and so happy that you are here! Much love and continued good health & fitness -- you are amazing.

xox me