CONTACT: TOM MOORE
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Nov. 9, 1999
Nov. 12 reunion set for bone marrow transplant donors,
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The second annual reunion of blood
and marrow transplantation donors and recipients is scheduled for Friday,
Nov. 12 in the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) on the University of Iowa campus.
The reunion will feature a pair of first-ever meetings between two transplant
patients and their donors.
One of the transplant patients is Gwen Crockett Easter
of Valdosta, Ga. Easter was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in
June 1990. She received her transplant at the Santa Rosa Children's Hospital
in San Antonio, Texas in April 1992. The bone marrow was harvested from her
donor, Debra Cook of Indianola, Iowa at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and transported
to San Antonio. Easter married her husband, Paul, in 1998. She will meet Cook
for the first time at the reunion.
"I'm ecstatic about meeting Debbie after seven years
and being able to thank her in person for saving my life," Easter said. "It's
going to be a special day. I have looked forward to meeting Debbie for years."
The other transplant recipient is two-year-old Aubree
Dunn of Iowa City. Her donor, Tom Sandersfeld of Marengo, Iowa, donated marrow
twice for Aubree, first in 1997 and again in 1998. They will also meet for
the first time at the reunion.
The theme of the reunion is "Celebrating Life." Roger
Gingrich, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Program at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, will deliver an opening address.
"We will be celebrating the gift of life, given and
received, with our patients and donors," Gingrich said. "They are all true
heroes and their stories are all inspiring and touching. This reunion is certainly
an emotion-filled, very special event."
The reunion will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Main
Lounge on the first floor of the IMU.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: For assistance in covering this
event, contact Tom Moore at (319) 356-3945.)
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.