Flintridge Prep Alum Rides City of Hope’s Rose Parade Float

Olivia Gaines (center), who received a stem-cell transplant at City of Hope, is pictured with nurses Karen Huelsman and Erin Kopp.
Photo courtesy City of Hope
Olivia Gaines (center), who received a stem-cell transplant at City of Hope, is pictured with nurses Karen Huelsman and Erin Kopp.

Flintridge Prep alumna Olivia Gaines was one of seven City of Hope patients selected to celebrate their second chance at life by riding the institution’s float during the 130th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
A 2013 graduate of Prep, Gaines took a leave of absence from college when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in order to receive the treatment required to save her life. At City of Hope she received a stem-cell transplant, which uses a donor’s bone marrow to re-establish function in patients whose bone marrow or immune system is defective.
In December, Gaines, now 23 and in remission, shared how music helped her and other City of Hope patients heal, through an article featured on the treatment and research center’s website.
“I didn’t expect to learn about life and beauty, math and law, grief and music, and the science of miracles through my experience with this disease,” Gaines said. Dealing with leukemia “gave me the opportunity to learn and meet so many amazing people who have all taught and gifted me so much.” Her article is at cityofhope.org/breakthroughs/leukemia-created-a-temporary-roadblock-for-a-young-woman.
Befitting the 2019 Rose Parade theme, “The Melody of Life,” City of Hope named its float “Harmony of Hope.” City of Hope fosters harmonious collaboration among departments, academic disciplines, research efforts and physicians to speed scientific advances from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside. Its credo is to heal the body and bolster the soul so that patients can live successful, rewarding lives after cancer or other life-threatening diseases.

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