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University of Iowa News Release

June 13, 2005

U.S. Postal Service To Hold Marrow Donor Drives In Cedar Rapids

The United Stated States Postal Service (USPS) will hold marrow donor registration drives at multiple locations in Cedar Rapids for USPS employees only on June 16.

The drives will be held at the following USPS sites and times:

-- Main office, 615 6th Ave. SE, 6 to 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

-- NE Station, 1380 60th St. NE, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

-- West Station, 1930 Wiley Blvd. SW, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

-- 601 8th Ave. SE, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

-- 350 6th Ave. SE, 2 to 4:30 p.m.

The "Delivering the Gift of Life: The 3M/United States Postal Service Minority Marrow Donor Recruitment Campaign" started in 1997 when grants totaling $300,000 were made by 3M and USPS to the Marrow Foundation. A partnership later formed between 3M, USPS, the National Marrow Donor Program and The Marrow Foundation. The partners' original goal was to register a total of 8,000 new volunteers to the national registry. 

Generous support from 3M and the USPS for "Delivering the Gift of Life" has resulted in the addition of more than 22,400 new volunteers to the national registry. More than 50 USPS employees have donated marrow or stem cells as of April 30, 2005. Grants from 3M and the USPS continue to cover the costs of tissue typing for USPS employees.

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 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. 

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 almost 24,000 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 the donor drive, please contact Carol Engelken, at 319-399-2982. 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 debra-hoyle@uiowa.edu. Information about the program can be found online at www.iowamarrow.org.

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.