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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 30, 2003

Marrow Donor Drive To Be Held Jan. 6 In McCausland, Iowa

A marrow donor registration drive will be held in conjunction with Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center's blood drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6 at the McCausland Civic Center. The public is invited to participate.

The Iowa Marrow Donor Program seeks committed volunteers, ages 18 to 60 and in general good health. When joining the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, a person's tissue type becomes registered as part of the Iowa and National Marrow Donor Programs' registries. Once registered, a volunteer may be called upon to donate marrow or blood stem cells to a person needing a transplant to fight a life-threatening disease. Registration is easy, requiring completion of a simple consent form and a small blood sample.

Each year, more than 30,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with diseases treatable by a stem cell transplant. Of the patients needing to receive healthy stem cells from someone else, only 30 percent have a suitable family match, leaving the additional 70 percent to rely on unrelated donors.

The Iowa Marrow Donor Program was created in 1981 and became affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program in 1991. On average, 25 to 30 donors are called to donate each year from the Iowa Marrow Donor Program's registry of over 20,400 persons, and many more are called for further testing. Approximately 2,000 people join the Iowa and national registries each year through the Iowa Marrow Donor Program.

For more information about the donor drive or to receive application forms, call the Iowa Marrow Donor Program toll free at 800-944-8220 or locally at 319-356-3337. For more information regarding the donor drive, call Lloyd Claussen at 563-225-2585. For more information regarding the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, contact Debra Hoyle, membership coordinator of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, via e-mail at debra-hoyle@uiowa.edu. Information about the program can be found online at www.iowamarrow.org.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Clancy Champanois, 319-384-9171, clancy-champanois@uiowa.edu.