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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 16, 2005

Simpson College Schedules Drive For Marrow Donor Awareness Month

Members of the Simpson College men's basketball team will hold their third annual marrow donor registration drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 in the Camp Lounge of the Student Center. The public is invited to participate.

Members of the men's basketball team adopted the Iowa Marrow Donor Program and committed to holding an annual donor drive as their community service project when their former assistant coach was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Through their efforts, 271 volunteers have been recruited to the Iowa and national registries. One volunteer has donated life-saving blood stem cells and several others have had further testing.

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. Only 30 percent of the patients needing to receive healthy stem cells from someone else have a suitable family match, leaving the remaining 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 to 30 donors are called to donate each year from the Iowa Marrow Donor Program's registry of more than 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 319-356-3337. For more information regarding the donor drive, please contact Tyler Erwin, Simpson College assistant men's basketball coach and athletic academic liaison at 515-961-1855. 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,