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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 11, 2006

UI, ISU Students Join Efforts To Save Lives

Iowa State University and University of Iowa students will put aside their rivalry on the gridiron when they team up Sept. 14 to hold marrow donor registration drives on their respective campuses.

The schools' football teams will play their annual rivalry game Sept. 16. Prior to the game, though, ISU's Student Alumni Leadership Council and the UI's Project Marrow will join forces to help save lives. 

The Student Alumni Leadership Council will sponsor the drive at Iowa State University from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Room 136 of the Union Drive Community Center. The donor drive is part of their "Beat Iowa" events.

Project Marrow at the UI will host the drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Penn State Room of the Iowa Memorial Union. Project Marrow's mission is "to provide the University of Iowa community with the opportunity to save lives by increasing the number of individuals on the bone marrow registry." 

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 Program's 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, only requiring completion of a simple consent form and a cheek swab sample. 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.

Each year, more than 30,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with diseases treatable by a stem cell transplant. Out 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 asked 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 Marrow Donor Program's registries each year through the Iowa Marrow Donor Program. 

For more information about the drive at ISU or the Student Alumni Leadership Council, please contact Nicole Bell at 414-333-3905 or nmbell@iastate.edu.

For more information about the drive at the UI or Project Marrow, please contact Janna Borcherding, president, at 641-435-6015 or janna-borcherding@uiowa.edu.

For more information about the Iowa Marrow Donor Program or donation, contact Deb Hoyle, membership coordinator, toll free at 800-944-8220 or 319-356-3337. Information about the program can be found online at www.iowamarrow.org.

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.