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University of Iowa News Release

May 5, 2006

Marrow Donor Drives Set For Five Iowa Locations May 12-13

The Iowa Marrow Donor Program at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will hold marrow donor registration drives at five sites May 12-13 in Iowa as part of the National Marrow Donor Program's "Thanks Mom!" marrow drive initiative.

Mothers of all ages wish for their children to have a healthy life. People will have the opportunity to say "Thanks Mom!" and honor mothers for the life that they have received by giving the gift of life to someone else.

A new method of sample collection for tissue typing will be introduced during these drives. With advancements of DNA testing methods, tissue typing can now be determined from a cotton-tipped swab that touches the inside of the mouth.  

The dates, times locations and sponsors of the drives are:

May 12:

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Colloton Atrium, UI Hospitals and Clinics. Sponsored by the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses, the Helen K. Rossi Volunteer Guest House, and Volunteer Services at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

May 13:

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Manatts Building, Old 6 Road, in Brooklyn. Sponsored by Chapter EY TTT in honor of Austin Kilmer. Kilmer benefited from a transplant by an unrelated donor.

May 13:

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church, 2411 West Ave. in Burlington. Sponsored by the Southeast Iowa Bone Marrow Committee.

May 13:

7 to 11:30 a.m. at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, 5500 Lakeview Parkway in Davenport.

May 13:

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Risen Christ Lutheran Church, 6021 Northwest Blvd. in Davenport. Sponsored by Risen Christ Lutheran Church and Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center.

Both of the drives in Davenport include a blood drive and are in honor of Lori McFate. McFate has lymphoma and is currently searching for an unrelated donor.

Participating in the drive takes 15 to 20 minutes and consists of completing a consent form and having a buccal swab sample collected. The participant's tissue type will be entered into a national registry and could benefit patients anywhere in the world. There is no expense to the potential donor.

If there is a potential tissue type match, blood tests facilitated by the Iowa Marrow Donor Program would be necessary to determine if that is the best match.

If you would like to know more about marrow and blood stem cell donation or have a question about any of the events listed above, please call the Iowa Marrow Donor Program at 800-944-8220. The Iowa Marrow Donor Program is part of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI.

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 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 almost 25,000 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. 

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,