The Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation’s Be A Lifeline Gala on May 16 was co-hosted by Good Morning America co-anchors Josh Elliott and Sam Champion. Since 1992, The BMCF has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families by providing vital financial assistance, educational information, and emotional support programs.
Honoree Sergio Giralt, Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center was singled out for his outstanding achievements in the field of bone marrow transplantation with the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation’s inaugural Dr. E. Donnall Thomas Award. ABC-TV’s Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, who is a patient of Dr. Giralt’s, presented Dr. Giralt with this prestigious honor and recognition.
Executive Director and Founder of the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation, Christina Merrill, stated “Naming a physician’s award after the father of transplantation is one of the highest distinctions a transplant doctor can receive and I was so pleased that Mrs. Thomas endorsed this honor in memory of her late husband.”
The Dr. E. Donnall Thomas Award celebrates the groundbreaking work of the late Dr. E. Donnall Thomas and honors medical professionals who continue to exemplify his outstanding achievements in the field of bone marrow transplantation. Dr. Thomas forever changed the world of cancer treatment when he pioneered bone marrow transplantation at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, a breakthrough that stands among the world’s most significant medical advances and earned him the 1990 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. The lives of thousands of patients with a variety of cancers and blood disorders are saved every year as a result of the work of Dr. E. Donnall Thomas and those who continue to work in the field of transplantation.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Giralt stated “How honored and privileged I am that the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation has awarded me with their first [Dr.] E. Donnnall Thomas award, the father of the field that I love and cherish.”