Transplant Recipients, Donor Families and Staff Reunite at 11th Annual OHSU Transplant Picnic

07/20/00    Portland, Ore.

Transplant Recipients, Donor Families and Staff Reunite at 11th Annual OHSU Transplant Picnic.


2nd Annual Doernbecher Children's Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion Picnic


Noon - 4 p.m., Saturday, July 22, 2000


Oaks Amusement Park, S.E. Spokane Street, Portland

Contact at event:

Check in at the registration desk and ask for Kelly Brady or Theodore Moore, M.D.

Bone marrow transplant recipients and their families will gather at Oaks Amusement Park this weekend for Doernbecher's 2nd Annual Transplant Reunion Picnic. The day will include a free barbecue lunch, rides, face painting, music, presentations of transplant experiences, a picture board display of Doernbecher transplant patients and a few scenes from a local performance of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," directed by Edward James. Representatives from the Portland Trail Blazers will also be in attendance, handing out basketballs, Blazer T-shirts and other souvenirs.

The picnic is not only for families who have had successful transplants, but also for families whose children did not survive the transplant process. It is a chance for families to reunite, celebrate and remember those who've died.

"The picnic is our time to celebrate the victories, successes and the hard efforts that our families and staff have been through together," said Theodore Moore, M.D., Doernbecher pediatric oncologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at OHSU's School of Medicine. Moore has been instrumental in conceptualizing and organizing the picnic each year.

Debbie Helmold and her daughter Ashley from La Center, Washington, will be attending the picnic this year. Ashley is 2 1/2 years old and received a bone marrow transplant in April 1999. Debbie thinks the picnic is a wonderful opportunity for transplant families to stay in touch. "The Doernbecher staff and the other transplant families are remarkable. It's a whole other road that we've been down together," she said.

The picnic also will celebrate the first anniversary of the Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Education Awareness Resource Support Pediatric Family Network, or BEARS. BEARS is run by and for families of transplant recipients. The purpose of the group is for transplant families, no matter where they live, to be able to connect, provide information and support each other. The network offers information about donors, transplant situations, insurance and financial resources.

Helmold has been put a lot of time and effort into coordinating BEARS. "When you watch all these amazing kids go through these transplants, you realize you have to do something. That's why we formed the BEARS, so that we can help these kids and their families."