Two industry veterans experience City of Hope care firsthand

LOS ANGELES – As part of the International Home Furnishings Industry Group, Mike Najarian and Ann Navarra have been supporting City of Hope for decades, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States and a center for research in leading on diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

And both have become patients over the past two years, now sharing their stories to highlight the lifesaving care available there.

For over 30 years, Najarian and his family business, Najarian Furniture, have supported City of Hope through IHFI events. In the fall of 2019, Najarian was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells. Her disease was stage 4, which meant it had spread outside the lymphatic system.

For the next five months, he went for treatment every three weeks, staying five nights each time.

“It always starts with the people in everything you do, and there are no words to describe the care you receive from every person you meet at City of Hope,” Najarian said. “They work collectively, follow protocol, explain everything so you know what to expect without giving you false hope.”

Last month, Najarian celebrated two years of remission. “You could see the difference that (City of Hope) is making in patients’ lives,” he said. “You could see on the faces of the patients – the positive attitude, the professionalism and the kindness that helps save lives.

Navarra first came to City of Hope last fall to work through medication issues she had been having since her second breast cancer surgery in the fall of 2020. Her first diagnosis was 30 years earlier.

Navarra is co-owner of the Southern California-based Jerome’s Furniture chain of stores, which has donated to City of Hope for decades. “From the parking attendant, to the person who walked me through the buildings like a sister by my side, to the cafeteria staff, the caring continues through each person and everything they do,” she said.

Najarian and Navarra encourage the industry to continue its strong support through the upcoming West Coast Golf and Tennis Tournament, one of two signature events hosted by IHFI in support of City of Hope.

This year, IHFI will honor Roy Hester, senior vice president and general manager of Planned Furniture Promotions, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the June 13 event.

To learn more about the tournament and to register online, click here, contact Loren Boyko at 626-222-9764 or email [email protected]

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