WRITER: ARIANNE NARDO
CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: February 11, 2000
UI Cancer Center team to participate in American Cancer Society Relay
for Life Feb. 13
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- They'll be stretching on the sidelines, wearing bright
blue jerseys, poised and ready to take a turn on the track. The University
of Iowa Cancer Center (UICC) will be cheering for Team UICC 2000 to make strides
at the American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday,
Feb. 13 at the UI Recreation Building.
Some 67 participants representing almost all UI Cancer Center clinical departments
and programs will participate in the nationwide race that raises funds for
cancer research, education and patient services. This year, University of
Iowa Health Care and the UI Cancer Center are silver sponsors of the relay,
inviting all members of Johnson County to join in the effort.
Nearly 100 teams representing organizations, local businesses, UI offices
and families of cancer patients are expected to take part in the Relay for
Life race, which is "dedicated to continue the fight against cancer,"
said Nancy Williams, co-chair of the Relay for Life and president of the Johnson
County American Cancer Society Board of Directors.
"The Relay for Life is a wonderful community event that raises money
to support cancer patients and their families locally while increasing the
awareness of the fight against cancer in general," said Ted Yank, Team
UICC captain and an administrator at the UI Cancer Center.
The original idea for the relay began with Gordon Klatt, a physician and
ACS volunteer in Tacoma, Wash., who raised $27,000 in 1985 running and walking
81 miles for 24 hours. The ACS adopted the Relay for Life concept in 1994,
and it has continued to be a symbolic day of compassion and encouragement
for cancer patients and survivors.
"The ACS and UI Cancer Center are allies in this fight," said
George Weiner, M.D., director of the UI Cancer Center and UI associate professor
of internal medicine. "The majority of these locally generated funds
are used to provide excellent local programming to support and educate patients
and the public, while the rest are sent on to the National ACS to finance
their national research and educational initiatives."
Weiner added, "Faculty from the University of Iowa Cancer Center have
been successful in competing for these research funds at the national level
and bringing them back to Iowa to support new and innovative research projects
right here in Iowa City."
Through national competition, Johnson County receives $2 million annually
from the ACS for research grants and other programs and services, Williams
said. Included in the total is $100,000 that goes toward funding seed grants,
which help new UI Cancer Center researchers initiate their research projects.
Many local programs and services such as, Road to Recovery, Look Good - Feel
Better, and the Navigator program are also funded by the American Cancer Society.
In addition to racing in this year's Relay for Life, the UI Cancer Center
will also have volunteers on hand at the Cancer Information Service booth,
the Mobile Mammography Van and the Valentine's craft-making and face-painting
tables for children.
Performances by The Tornadoes, Big Yellow, the Grant Wood Jazzy Jumpers
and other groups are scheduled throughout the day. A Survivors' Walk and brief
ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. The Celebrity Race will begin at 4 p.m.,
featuring Hawkeye basketball coach, Steve Alford, other community and UI notables,
TV and radio personalities, and Herky and the UI Pom Pon squad.
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.