14 September 2015 — Stem Cell Transplants


If, after enjoying this week’s program, you don’t happen to have a specific comment to add, please remember to “vote” in the poll at the bottom of this page, to indicate your attendance. Thank you!


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 — 7:00pm to 10:00pm — SIXTH ANNUAL DANCE FOR THE CHILDREN, in support of The Rotary Foundation’s PolioPlus Fund and continuing the eradication of polio, Arthur Murray Sherman Oaks, 4633 Van Nuys Boulevard, just south of the 101 in Sherman Oaks.  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 — 12:30pm to 2:00pmOur FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for September! Special Guest Speaker: Rotary District 5280 Governor D.J. Sun, making his Official Visit to our Club.  We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. (Meeting reminders: Inspiration, Todd; Pledge, David; Four-Way Test, Brenda; Rotary Minute, Reed; Mini Craft Talk: Yoko.)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING will be held by conference call on a different date. REMINDER TO DIRECTORS: As part of the Official Visit of the District Governor, the Board will meet in The Fireplace Room at 11:00 a.m. with D.J. Sun and his team.  The Board of Directors meeting itself will be a conference call during the preceding week, TBA.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15 — LUNCH AND DINNER — SAVE THE DATE for a tasty fundraiser to support ESTADO 29, an orphanage in Mexico long supported by our Club Member Jorge Vazquez and two friends of his in another local Rotary Club.  The generous owner of LOS GRINGOS LOCOS restaurant in La Cañada will donate 15% of what we spend (when we present the flyer we’ll have ready for you soon) any time on that date.  All of the proceeds will be used for the orphanage project to help the great kids.  More news soon!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 — 12:30pm to 2:00pmOur FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for October! Special Guest Speaker: Janet Higgins, local outreach director for Be The Match and the national bone marrow registry.  We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.  (Meeting reminders: Inspiration, David; Pledge, JoAnne; Four-Way Test, Brenda; Rotary Minute, Jorge; Mini Craft Talk: Linda W.)   BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING in The Fireplace Room at 11:00 a.m.


We have launched our Clunkers4Charity fundraiser! If you know of anyone (yourself included) who wants or needs to donate a car for tax purposes, send them to our website…and to the Clunkers4Charity “Link” you see at the right side of this page. Funds we raise will go right into the community for our projects.










This week’s Program is also the centerpiece of this month’s Rotary E-wareness Campaign on the topic of stem cell transplants, curated by Club Member and this year’s President, Roy Glickman.  He presents a sequence of shorter videos with a lot of information in an accessible style.

Roy’s message for the E-wareness Campaign:

When we think of transplants, typically we think about a donated organ–a kidney, a liver, or even a heart. All are life-saving procedures which are easy to comprehend. If a kidney fails, a new one can take its place. Stem cell transplants, also often referred to as bone marrow transplants, are a different type of “transplant,” but with the same life-saving possibilities.

Until October 2011, I knew little about stem cell transplants. It seemed like a futuristic concept, something on the cutting edge of medical science. Then I was diagnosed with a rare blood disease and I learned first-hand about the life-saving procedure of transplanting healthy stem cells to repair diseased bone marrow. A stem cell transplant was the only treatment available to me for that rare and incurable blood disease.

Stem cell transplant procedures were originally developed in the 1960’s and 70’s at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. That research showed that bone marrow cells infused intravenously could repopulate the bone marrow and produce new healthy blood cells. These cells either come from a donor (referred to as an allogeneic transplant) or from the patient’s own cells (an autologous transplant). Today, more than 50,000 transplants are performed each year worldwide, saving the lives of people with diseases which have no other cure. It is not without significant risk, but as the procedure has become better understood and more refined increasing numbers of patients are able to overcome life-threatening diseases.

I hope the information in this program will raise awareness of this vital procedure.

1. The Mayo Clinic has a good short summary (2:19) of the bone marrow transplant process, in a brief news report format.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

2. An excellent description of the transplant process is this short video (3:50) of Dr. John Cunningham from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. He describes the procedure for a pediatric transplant, but the process is similar for adults.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

3. This video (2:55) from the Henry Ford Medical system is a good power point look at the different types of transplants based on the source of the donor cells – autologous, allogeneic and syngeneic.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

4. Finally, this video from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a lengthy “documentary” look at the transplant of a patient from the beginning of the process through recovery. The video is 15 minutes long, but the actual “transplant” is at 9:45 of the video, lasts only one minute and shows how anticlimactic the actual transplant really is.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.


This video is a surprisingly thorough and fast-paced lecture in only eight minutes by a high school student participating in BioExpo that explains the entire process including the operation of the bone marrow and an explanation of blood cells and how they work.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

For a close up look at the process from the patient’s perspective, these two videos from the Henry Ford Medical system show what happens in the hospital for a typical transplant recipient, with lots of explanations about risks and complications. The videos show the actual “transplant,” which is similar to a blood transfusion and the post transplant engraftment process. During that process, the infused cells begin to grow in the patient’s body and produce healthy marrow and blood.




We hope you have found this information valuable.




The opinions expressed by guest speakers, or in advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program, are those of the speaker(s) / websites / advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.



2 responses to 14 September 2015 — Stem Cell Transplants

  1. Incredible! I didn’t know it was just like a blood transfusion. I will share this wonderful program and hope it might save lives.

  2. Stem Cell research has always been something that has intrigued me. This was very educational and i’m so happy this program is out there.

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