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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

March 10, 2003

Photo: (L-R) Allie, John and Donna Dane share a moment with the UI's Dr. Bruce Gantz at the sale of the Danes' family farm near Goose Lake, Iowa, last December. Proceeds from the sale of the farm will fund cochlear implant and nerve deafness research at the UI. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image, or go to

Gift From Farm Sale To Fund Cochlear Implant Research

The proceeds from the sale of a 235-acre Iowa farm will fund nerve deafness research in the department of otolaryngology at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

John and Allie Dane of Iowa City and their family gave a 40-acre parcel of their Goose Lake, Iowa, farm to the University of Iowa Foundation last December, with the intent that the parcel be sold and the proceeds used for deafness research at the UI.

Proceeds from the sale of the parcel, sold last Dec. 14 for $115,000, have been used to fulfill the Danes' request to establish the John Dane Family Cochlear Implant Research Fund. Proceeds from the sale of the remaining 195 acres of the farm have created a charitable remainder trust, assets of which will ultimately support the research fund as well.

The Danes' gift will support the pioneering research of Bruce J. Gantz, M.D., head of the UI's department of otolaryngology. Gantz and his team of physicians and scientists have made great strides in stimulating auditory nerve growth and improving hearing through ear implant surgery. Gantz is also creating the Iowa Center for Auditory Regeneration at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in order to further research into nerve deafness.

UI otolaryngologists performed a successful cochlear implant operation for the Danes' adult daughter, Donna. Four of the five Dane children suffer from hearing losses due to genetic auditory nerve problems, although only Donna was born profoundly deaf.

John Dane explained that the work of Gantz and his team had great personal significance to his family and--combined with the potential impact on millions of people with hearing loss who may eventually benefit from the research taking place at the UI--inspired the Danes to help out.

"I vowed that my family would make a significant contribution," Dane said. "The regeneration of auditory nerves, to me, would be an amazing breakthrough. I get so emotional when I think about it."

Gantz said, "We are thrilled that the Dane family has decided to support this research effort. Their gift will enable us to advance our research much more quickly."

He explained that the gift from the Danes will help UI researchers fund studies to test their new ideas-such as a recently designed ear implant that, unlike the cochlear, goes just a short way into the inner ear and can greatly improve hearing in those who are not already entirely deaf. Gantz said that the Dane family gift will also help the Iowa Center for Auditory Regeneration attract further funding.

"Our long-term goal," said Gantz, "is to create a research fund that we can use for the study of auditory nerve regeneration."

The University of Iowa Foundation works with contributors like the Dane family to turn assets such as real estate into gifts that can support the university.

"Gifts of farmland can work very well," explained David Triplett, the foundation's assistant vice president, gift planning, "especially when the foundation has the opportunity to help the donors structure the gift so that it meets their needs and intentions."

The Danes' gift is part of the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign. Named Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University, the campaign will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. The campaign is raising private funds to help launch educational initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private Contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the Good. Better. Best. Iowa campaign, visit the UI Foundation's web site at

STORY SOURCE: The UI Foundation, 500 Levitt Center for University Advancement, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550.

MEDIA CONTACT: David Triplett, assistant vice president, gift planning, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973, Writer: Elizabeth Collins