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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 29, 2007

Kernels to honor cancer survivor during Homerun for Life event Aug. 30

The Cedar Rapids Kernels will honor a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics cancer survivor who overcame very long odds when the team holds its next Homerun for Life event at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, prior to that evening's game.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is very often a shock. That news is especially stunning when you are 33 years old. Then, imagine hearing that you have stage IV colon cancer and your probability of survival is 5 percent.

Six years ago, Paul Cox began bleeding internally. Surgeons at UI Hospitals and Clinics removed the upper portion of his colon. A biopsy showed the cancer had spread to his liver with two lesions already present and a third beginning to develop. Another surgical team removed the cancerous matter in Cox's liver. He then underwent one round of chemotherapy one time a week for three months at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Not only did Cox survive stage IV cancer, but he also changed his lifestyle for the better. He began walking for exercise, which led to running, and eventually he began participating in marathons.

Cox credits his survival to the care he received at UI Hospitals and Clinics. He said 5 percent of people survive what he went through, and he believes that a big part of his success is due to the excellent care he received.

Cox now enjoys spending time with his wife, Paula, and their 5-year-old son. He is a full-time academic advisor at the UI, and he recently completed the graduate program in education.

The Kernels' Homerun for Life program started last year after the idea was brought home from a game in Dayton, Ohio, where the Dayton Dragons have a similar initiative.

Working with staff at UI Hospitals and Clinics, the Kernels pick people who have made surprising recoveries from grievous injuries or near-fatal illnesses. Those selected are given free tickets to the game for themselves and their families and are brought onto the field during pre-game activities.

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading-edge research and educating the public about cancer.

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,