CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Nov. 14, 2002
NOTE TO EDITORS: The Celebrating Life Reunion will be held in the Main Lounge
of the Iowa Memorial Union Nov. 15. Registration begins at 1 p.m. The welcome
and opening remarks will occur at 1:30 p.m. Annette Hoexter and Renee Shoff
will meet at approximately 2 p.m. For assistance in covering this event, please
contact Tom Moore at (319) 356-3945.
Participants To 'Celebrate Life' During Marrow Transplant Reunion
Approximately 400 patients who have received a bone marrow or blood stem
cell transplant, their families and caregivers will attend the Celebrating
Life Reunion on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Iowa Memorial Union. During the celebration,
a patient will meet for the first time the donor who helped save her life.
Annette Hoexter of Sherrard, Ill. and Renee Shoff of Moline, Ill. will attend
the reunion. Hoexter donated bone marrow to Shoff in February 2002. Specialists
in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa determined
that a bone marrow transplant was the best treatment option because Shoff
was in an accelerated phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Hoexter, 32, will attend the reunion with her friend, Lynn Walters. David
Shoff, Renee's husband, will accompany her. Shoff has returned to work on
a part-time basis following her transplant, despite the high-risk nature of
the procedure in her case.
The Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit at UI Hospitals and Clinics performed
its first marrow transplant in 1980. Since then, approximately 1,450 people
have received transplants there. The unit currently transplants more than
100 people each year. Roger Gingrich, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of internal
medicine, directs the transplant unit and serves as associate director for
clinical affairs in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI.
"As a transplant team, our goal is to restore people back to their
lives," Gingrich said. "When patients come and stay with us on our
Adult Blood & Marrow Transplant Unit for their transplants, we see them
at their most vulnerable. At our Celebrating Life Reunion, we meet again in
the arena of renewed life."
Colleen Reardon Chapleau, director of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, added,
"This event is a true celebration of the spirit. We share stories, triumphs,
challenges and the beauty we find in everyday life."
People in need of a blood stem cell transplant are diagnosed with a life-threatening
disease such as leukemia, lymphoma and aplastic anemia. A blood stem cell
transplant involves the use of high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation
to destroy the patient's diseased marrow and then giving the patient healthy
blood stem cells as a replacement. In an autologous transplant, the patient's
own blood stem cells are harvested, possibly treated, and then transplanted.
In an allogenic transplant, another person donates the healthy marrow or blood
Each year, more than 30,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with
diseases treatable by a blood stem cell transplant. Of the patients needing
to receive healthy blood stem cells from someone else, only 30 percent have
a suitable family match, leaving the additional 70 percent to rely on unrelated
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and 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.