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University of Iowa News Release

March 31, 2005

Blood And Marrow Registration Drives Scheduled In Farley And Davenport

Organizers are sponsoring two separate marrow registration and blood donor drives in honor of a young boy from Eldridge, Iowa. 

Both donor drives will honor 2-year-old Deven Strief. Diagnosed with aplastic anemia, Deven is currently searching for a suitable, matched unrelated donor. His family hopes that through learning about Deven's story, people will feel motivated to join the registry and possibly offer someone like him the gift of life. 

The first donor drive will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 4, at the Farley Memorial Hall in Farley. Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will be present for those who are interested in donating blood as well as joining the registry. 

The second donor drive will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center in Davenport at 5500 Lakeview Parkway. Organizers strongly encourage the public to participate in either registration opportunity. 

Efforts to raise money to cover the cost of tissue typing for those who join the registry are also underway. For each person who joins the registry, a contracted lab charges $65 to conduct the tissue typing process. The Iowa Marrow Donor Program also accepts donations to help cover the costs of tissue typing. 

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 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 almost 23,000 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 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 in Farley or Davenport, please contact Jessica Strief at 563-449-1079. 

For more information regarding the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and blood donation, contact Jenny Garner at 563-359-5401.

For more information about the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, please contact Debra 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.