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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 15, 2006

Motorcyclists Will Ride To Benefit Marrow Donation

The third annual "Ride to Live" Poker Run motorcycle ride from Dubuque to Centralia, Iowa, in support of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. The Iowa Marrow Donor Program is part of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa.

The ride will start at Knickers Saloon at 2186 Central Ave. in Dubuque and end at Gunther's Get-Away in Centralia. A dinner, auction and dance will be held at Gunther's Get-Away following the ride.

Jack Koetz of Peosta said he continues to organize this event because he feels "no one should have to hear the words 'we can't find a match for you.'"

The riders will also make stops at Hank's Bar in North Buena Vista, J.R. Willy's in Colesburg, Neumann's Bar & Grill in Holy Cross and Brietbach's Supper Club in Balltown.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the cost of tissue typing for interested persons joining the Iowa and National Marrow Donor Program registries.

When a volunteer joins the registry, a contracted lab charges the Iowa Marrow Donor Program $52 for tissue typing. Last year's Ride to Live raised more than $6,300 and enabled 97 people to join the Iowa and national registries.

For more information about the ride and the fundraiser, contact Koetz at 563-557-8796. If you would like to know more about marrow and blood stem cell donation or have a question about the event listed above, call the Iowa Marrow Donor Program toll-free at 800-944-8220.

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 Program 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, only requiring completion of a simple consent form and a cheek swab sample. If there is a potential tissue type match, blood tests facilitated by the Iowa Marrow Donor Program would be necessary to determine if that is the best match.

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 asked to donate each year from the Iowa Marrow Donor Program's registry of almost 25,000 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.

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: Debra Hoyle

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