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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 13, 2003

Operation: Marrow To Register Potential Donors Nov. 21 At Drake

Operation: Marrow will sponsor its second annual donor registration drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21 in the Moorehouse Ballroom on the Drake University campus. The public is invited to participate.

In 2002, Drake students formed a new student organization called Operation: Marrow to educate the Drake community about the Iowa Marrow Donor Program and the National Marrow Donor Program registries. Operation: Marrow gives community members the opportunity to save lives by registering their tissue type with the program. The students involved in Operation: Marrow are responsible for membership, publicity, fundraising and drive participation. During its first drive in November 2002, Operation: Marrow registered 217 people and raised more than $2,000 to assist with the cost of tissue typing. November is National Marrow Donor Awareness Month.

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 additional 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, 25-30 donors are called to donate each year from the Iowa Marrow Donor Program's registry of more than 20,000 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 Operation: Marrow or the donor drive, please contact Carly Jarosz at 515-271-3051 or by e-mail at, or Raph Ramos at 515-271-3183 or by e-mail at For more information regarding the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, please contact Debra Hoyle, membership coordinator of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, by e-mail at Information about the program can be found online at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa 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

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,