Four cancer survivors who have ridden on City of Hope National Medical Center’s Rose Parade float in years past shared what the experience meant to them in a short video that aired on Jan. 1 during a two-hour television special that served as a substitute for this year’s parade, canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeff Carpenter of South Pasadena was 56 when he was given a grim diagnosis: lung cancer that had spread to his brain. He was astonished because he had never smoked a day in his life, but the condition explained his uncharacteristic panic attacks, erratic behavior, blurred vision and bouts of nonsensical speech. In the emergency room, he was told he had three to six months to live.
As a man who had devoted 11 years to building his own airplane, Carpenter, who is now 60, knew not only how to dream big but also to be resilient. At City of Hope, he underwent intricate brain surgery, radiation therapy and leading-edge targeted therapy that eliminated all of the tumors in his lungs and brain.
City of Hope was featured in one of the nine segments that made up the two-hour special that aired from 8-10 a.m. on New Year’s Day, a time slot typically occupied by the Rose Parade.
The medical center has participated in the parade for 48 years.