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University of Iowa News Release

July 14, 2005

Basketball Tournament To Register Marrow Donors July 15

The Justin Sharp Memorial Shootout will host a marrow donor registration drive during the event from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 15 at the Rock Island High School. The public is invited to participate. 

The Iowa Marrow Donor Program first held a donor drive at Sharp's request in June 2003. At that time, Sharp stated that he wanted a registration drive to be held "so people can be helped." The donor drive added 147 eligible people to the registry; at least one person was called for additional testing. 

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. Only 30 percent of the patients needing to receive healthy stem cells from someone else have a suitable family match, leaving the remaining 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 more than 24,000 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 regarding the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, contact the program toll free at 800-944-8220 or locally at 319-356-3337 or contact Deb Hoyle, membership coordinator of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, by e-mail at debra-hoyle@uiowa.edu. Information about the program can be found online at www.iowamarrow.org.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI 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 http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.