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Release: Jan. 30, 2002

UI Dance Marathon and CHI dedicate new Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit

Representatives of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon and the Children's Hospital of Iowa dedicated the new Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit (PBMT) in a ceremony at UI Hospitals and Clinics Tuesday, Jan. 29. UI Dance Marathon organizers contributed $100,000 to the project, and the new unit will be named the UI Dance Marathon Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit.

The event served as a prelude to this weekend's 2002 UI Dance Marathon, scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 1 through 7 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Main Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus. UI students will dance for 24 hours to raise funds to support patients of the Children's Hospital of Iowa (CHI) and their families.

Following the dedication ceremony, attendees toured the new unit location, which is currently under construction. The $3.7 million project is slated for completion by April. The 7,000-square-foot facility is located on the third level of the John Colloton Pavilion. There are five beds on the self-contained unit. The current PBMT Unit is located on the seventh level of the Roy Carver Pavilion.

"We felt it was very important to say 'thank you' to everyone who has worked so hard and helped to achieve our goal of helping children affected by cancer," said Fred Goldman, M.D., UI associate professor of pediatrics and PBMT Unit director. "Their remarkable success will truly benefit the families we care for, and it's difficult to express the depth of our gratitude for what these wonderful, dedicated people have done."

The PBMT unit treats children with a multitude of diseases, including leukemia and other cancers, and immune and blood disorders. The PBMT unit has transplanted more than 350 patients since 1986. Patients have come from 35 states and five countries.

The new unit represents the state-of-the-art in cancer treatment and will provide advanced care for children and their families. The new rooms allow for family members to sleep in the same room with the child who is receiving treatments. A special air filtration system enables children to leave their rooms while they are recovering from a transplant.

The Children's Hospital of Iowa is the state's longest-serving children's hospital. CHI admits more than 5,000 pediatric patients annually, and an additional 100,000 children receive health care in CHI clinics.

The UI Dance Marathon was first held in 1995. Since then, the event has expanded to include Iowa State University and Drake University. Last year approximately 800 dancers raised more than $504,000 during the 2001 UI Dance Marathon.

The proceeds raised by all three Dance Marathons in Iowa are donated to CHI through the Children's Miracle Network (CMN). One hundred percent of all donations to CMN remain in the local region to benefit critically ill and injured children. CMN is the nation's largest charitable organization. All of the funds raised stay in the area to benefit the local children's hospital. Contributions to CMN are used to enhance the quality of patients' hospital stays, support research and purchase sophisticated pediatric health care equipment. In 2000, the Children's Hospital of Iowa received almost $1.9 million from CMN.

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. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.