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CONTACT: ARIANNE NARDO
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-8981
e-mail: anardo@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu

Release: April 18, 2000

Project Marrow to host marrow drive April 19 at the IMU

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Project Marrow, a student organization affiliated with the Iowa Marrow Donor Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, invites the public to participate in a marrow drive from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 in the Kirkwood Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

"Your Type Could Save a Life" is the key message of Project Marrow members. Currently about 3.8 million people are registered with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a national registry that serves as a database for those seeking bone marrow matches. More than 107 donor programs are affiliated with the NMDP, including the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, which has 16,000 Iowans registered.

More than 9,000 registrants have donated their own healthy marrow or stem cells to patients in need of a transplant. One-third of the patients in need of a bone marrow transplant find a compatible donor in their families, leaving two-thirds left to search for a match.

"Our goal is to add significantly to the marrow registry in the state of Iowa and ultimately to save lives," said Dan Nutter, president and founder of Project Marrow.

For Nutter, his involvement in Project Marrow stems from his personal experience with Hodgkin's lymphoma. His triumph over the disease and successful treatment at the UI Hospitals and Clinics have inspired him to not only work with patients but also actively spread the word about the importance of registering as a donor.

"Some of my closest friends are cancer survivors; my heroes are cancer survivors. If I can just help to get people registered and add to the national progress, then it's worth it to me," Nutter said.

The Project Marrow donor drive is seeking healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60 to register their bone marrow type. All are invited to attend. The process requires filling out a few application forms and giving a small blood sample. To learn more about the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, call (800) 944-8220. For more information about Project Marrow and the marrow drive, contact Laurie Robinson at (319) 353-6347.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.