HCI’s bone marrow transplant unit is newest in Utah

Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-20 19:21:20-05

SALT LAKE CITY - The Huntsman Cancer Institute's Bone Marrow Transplant Unit is the newest of its kind in Utah.

The hospital's Bone Marrow Transplant Center has been in operation for more than a year, giving hundreds of people fighting cancer a chance at a cure.

"We are one of two transplant centers in a huge region and we provide treatment or provide the opportunity to get treatment for the neighboring states," said Gerhard Hildebrandt, director of the transplant program.

Because if its increased capacity, the transplant unit is able to treat more patients in need of bone marrow transplants.

"Before we had twelve beds, now we have 25 beds. We basically doubled our capacity and hereby we are able to provide care for every patient in this region and in the larger region who needs these aggressive treatments," Hildebrandt said.

Hanna McCleve, a patient at the center, says that the staff are friendly. She was in remission for Hodgkin's lymphoma, but relapsed after she started working at the BMT unit.

"They don't wait at all knowing that cancer is fast-growing and they get right on top of it and I think that is really impressive. Now being a patient I am very impressed about how friendly and concerned they are. You don't feel like you're a number, you feel like you're the only one here," McCleve said.

Now that she's a patient, McCleve says she's especially grateful for the expertise of her coworkers.

"I feel really blessed. I kind of mark it as a miracle that I started working here and then I got diagnosed and now I'm treated here. I know it's not a dream come true because no one wants to have cancer, but if you were, this facility is amazing," she said.

For more on the Huntsman BMT unit, go to