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CONTACT: MITCH BECKMAN
Associate Director of Development
UI College of Medicine
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: Nov. 30, 2001

Photo Caption: The Maahs family of Epworth, Iowa, recently presented a $10,000 check to Dr. Michael Voigt of University of Iowa Health Care to be used for Hepatitis C research. The Maahses raised the money by holding a golf event last summer in honor of their mother, Martha Maahs, who died last year from Hepatitis C complications. Dr. Voigt cared for Martha Maahs before her death. Left to right: Dr. Warren Schmidt, Dr. Douglas LaBrecque (both UI Health Care colleagues of Dr. Voigt), Dr. Michael Voigt, Bruce Maahs (son of Martha), Niki Perrenoud (daughter), Dick Maahs (husband), and Mike Maahs (son).

Editors: Individuals or companies located in your area contributed to the fundraising event described in this news release

Family Gives College of Medicine $10,000 For Hepatitis C Research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Maahs family of Epworth, Iowa, has made a gift of $10,000 to be used for Hepatitis C research at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The family raised the funds by hosting the "Clownin' Around Golf Outing" last August at the Timberline Golf Course in Peosta, Iowa, and funds raised by the event went into the Martha Maahs Hepatitis C Research Fund, established with the assistance of the University of Iowa Foundation.

The Maahses presented a $10,000 check to Michael Voigt, M.D., associate professor (clinical) of internal medicine and a physician at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, as a way to thank him for his compassionate care of their mother, Martha Maahs, who died from Hepatitis C last year.

The Maahses held the golf benefit to increase awareness of Hepatitis C in the community and to raise money to support important research of the blood-borne disease at the UI.

The golf event drew 144 participants. There were 47 sponsors of holes at the event, which was followed by a dinner, raffle and silent auction. Entertainment was provided by singer-songwriter Kenny Beard of Nashville, Tenn., whose mother also died from Hepatitis C. The pharmaceutical firm Roche Inc. was a major sponsor of the event, contributing $1,000.

Funds raised greatly exceeded expectations, and the Maahs family plans a second golf outing for next Aug. 30.

Martha Maahs contracted Hepatitis C in 1981, after a blood transfusion (blood products are now routinely screened for this virus). She was not diagnosed, however, until 1998, when she had already developed cirrhosis of the liver. Martha was referred to Dr. Voigt by her regular physician in Dubuque. Voigt began aggressive treatment, but Martha's advanced condition did not respond.

Niki Perrenoud of Farley, Iowa, Martha's daughter, organized the golf fund-raiser along with her brothers Mike, of Dyersville, Iowa, Tony and Bruce, of Epworth, and her father, Dick, also of Epworth. Perrenoud said that her mother "spent many weeks in the hospital under Dr. Voigt's care. She respected him and trusted his opinion, and she always felt she received the best care from him."

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Maahs family presents $10,000 check for Hepatitis C research at UI College of Medicine -- 2

Perrenoud continued, "It is vitally important that testing for Hepatitis C be given early so that treatment can either stop or delay the progression of cirrhosis or liver cancer."

According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates, the current rate of around 10,000 deaths per year due to Hepatitis C will triple by the year 2010. Most people who have Hepatitis C do not experience symptoms until decades after they have acquired the virus, making blood testing an imperative part of prevention and treatment. Hepatitis C may lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or liver failure. About 4 million Americans have Hepatitis C but don't know it.

The CDC says that many people may have contracted Hepatitis C through blood transfusions or by receiving blood products contaminated with the virus. IV drug users who share needles are also at risk. Prior to 1992, a reliable screening test for Hepatitis C did not exist, which means that individuals who received blood before then–as Martha Maahs did–are potentially at risk and should be tested.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at www.uiowafoundation.org.

Local companies and groups that contributed between $100 and $300 to sponsor holes at the golf outing include (listed alphabetically by city):

Cascade Lanes, Cascade

Weber Vending, Cascade

Enterprise Solutions, Inc., Charlotte, N.C.

Utility Trailer, City of Industry, Calif.

Interstate Detroit Diesel, Davenport

American Realty/Shelley Till, Dubuque

All Season Trucking Inc., Dubuque

Arabesque Design Ltd., Dubuque

Apex Concrete, Dubuque

Cindy Doty and Cathy Blanchard of Mary Kay Cosmetics,

Des Moines and Dubuque

Creative Catering/Garden Room Café, Dubuque

Dubuque Fastpitch Hall of Fame, Dubuque

Eye-Deal Optical, Dubuque

McKesson Corporation–TSH, Dubuque

River City Paving, Dubuque

Riverside Tractor and Trailer, Dubuque

Palmer Drug, Dubuque

Thermo-King, Dubuque

Thunderbolt Trucking, Dubuque

Friends of Marty Maahs, Dyersville

McDermott Oil Co., Dyersville

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Maahs family presents $10,000 check for Hepatitis C research at UI College of Medicine -- 3

Wieneke's Friendly Service Mart, Dyersville

Tracey Export, Inc., East Dubuque, Ill.

Dr. and Mrs. Kim Kissel, Epworth

Epworth Radio & TV, Epworth

The Featherston Family, Epworth

Heiberger Insurance, Epworth

K&K Heating & Cooling/Dustbusters, Epworth

Maahs Service, Epworth

Pizza Factory, Epworth

Pop-a-Top, Epworth

Advantage Trailer Sales, Farley

Cobra Lanes, Farley

Maahs Auto Center, Farley

Maahs Auto Sales, Farley

Jeff Naderman Drywall & Plastering/ Third Base Tap, Farley

Right-Way Realty, Farley

Schueller Construction, Farley

Steve Willenbring Realty, Farley

Roche, Inc., Nutley, N.J.

Harris Golf Cars, Peosta

MiTM, Peosta

Ultimate Impressions, Peosta

Leo's Repairables, Potosi, Wis.

Demmer Oil, Worthington

State Bank/Town & Country Insurance, Worthington

Those interested in making reservations or donations for next year's golf outing can contact Niki Perrenoud at 563-744-3081; e-mail: snperren@aol.com.