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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2005

Fundraiser To Benefit The Iowa Marrow Donor Program

A benefit concert organized by a Waverly, Iowa, father whose daughter's life was saved by a bone marrow transplant is scheduled for the afternoon and evening of Sept. 17 at the 4-H Building on the Waverly Fairgrounds in Waverly.

Jeff Franzen's daughter, Jessica, received lifesaving bone marrow from an unrelated donor in April 2002. Since that time, Jeff has been a volunteer and an advocate for the program.

Doors to the event open at noon, a silent auction begins at 2 p.m. and food service starts at 4 p.m., with local band Noah's Cape playing from 6 to 10 p.m.  

Proceeds from the event will go to the Iowa Marrow Donor Program to help cover the cost of tissue typing. When a volunteer joins the registry, a contracted lab charges the Iowa Marrow Donor Program $65 for tissue typing. 

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 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. 

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 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 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 benefit, contact Jeff Franzen, at 319-352-0757.

For more information regarding the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, 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 http://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; Writer: Deb Hoyle