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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 7, 2006

Project Marrow To Hold Annual Marrow Donor Drive On UI Campus

Project Marrow's annual donor drive will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, in the Lucas/Dodge and Miller rooms at the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus.

Project Marrow has recruited almost 1,600 people to the Iowa and National registries. A total of nine people have been matched to a person in need and have donated their blood stem cells. Many more have been called for additional testing. Tabitha Garner, Project Marrow's president, said this year's goal is to register 300 people to the registry because, "so many people are in need of an unrelated donor."

Project Marrow is a registered student organization at the UI and is affiliated with the Iowa Marrow Donor Program in UI Hospitals and Clinics.

The Iowa Marrow Donor Program seeks committed volunteers, age 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. Among patients needing to receive healthy stem cells from someone else, only 30 percent 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 Project Marrow or the donor drive, contact Tabitha Garner, president, at 319-338-7618 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 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,