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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 18, 2005

Poker Run To Benefit Iowa Marrow Donor Program

The second annual Poker Run from Dubuque to Centralia to support the Iowa Marrow Donor Program is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

Jack Koetz of Peosta organized the event. Riders will leave by noon from Knickers Saloon at 2186 Central Ave. in Dubuque and will gather at 5 p.m. in Gunther's Get-Away in Centralia. A dinner, auction and a dance will follow the ride at Gunther's Get-Away.

The riders will also make stops at Brietbach's Supper Club in Balltown, Someplace Else Bar in North Buena Vista, the Hub in Colesburg and Neumann's Bar & Grill in Holy Cross.

Proceeds from the event will support 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. Last year's Poker Run raised more than $2,700 and enabled 41 people to join the Iowa and National registries.

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. That means that the remaining 70 percent must 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 called to donate each year from the Iowa Marrow Donor Program's registry of more than 24,000 people, and many more are called for further testing. Approximately 2,000 potential donors join the Iowa and national registries each year through the Iowa Marrow Donor Program.

For more information regarding the ride or fundraiser, please contact Jack Koetz at 563-557-8796. 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 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

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,