Moffitt Cancer Center to highlight patient and the man who saved him through donation at BMT reunion

November 05, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. – It’s rare that a patient gets to meet the person who saved his or her life. But for those participating in the Blood and Marrow Transplant Reunion at Moffitt Cancer Center, they will get that chance. 

The reunion will bring together donors and patients—along with physicians and Moffitt staff members who worked together to combat cancer—at 1 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the USF Marshall Student Center. 

One of those patients is Emmett Wooten, who beat Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with the help of Ernie Evans, a stranger who happens to work at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Evans’ donation literally saved Wooten’s life. 

“Thank God there was somebody not selfish who was willing to save someone else’s life,” Wooten says of Evans. “Thanks to him, I was able to see my daughter walk the stage and receive her college degree.” 

The two have never met, but Wooten is looking forward to thanking the stranger who helped prolong his life. Both men will be highlighted during the reunion event. There, patients just like Wooten who have seen the true power of blood and bone marrow donations first-hand will share their stories with each other. The reunion begins at 1 p.m. 

“These donors save lives and together with the skilled physicians and Moffitt staff, patients are able to live full and healthy lives after being diagnosed with cancer,” says Claudio Anasetti, MD, chair of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant at Moffitt. “It’s a powerful experience to see so many patients come together 5 – 10 -20 years after their cancer treatment.” 

While the event is invitation-only, the media is invited to attend. Both Wooten and Evans will be available for interviews. 

“The power of donation is immeasurable,” says Barbara Crawford, an administrator with Moffitt’s BMT program. “It’s truly rewarding to see patients thriving in their lives while showing genuine appreciation to the donors who made it possible.” 

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 45 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. With more than 4,600 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $1.9 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.