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University of Iowa News Release


Experts will shop for UI Children's Hospital patients

Just imagine turning children loose in a toy store with thousands of dollars to spend.

Two patients treated at University of Iowa Children's Hospital will draw on their experiences to buy gifts for their counterparts Thursday, Nov. 15, during a $5,000 shopping spree at the Coralville Wal-Mart store beginning at 3:30 p.m.

The children, Simeon Smith, 6, of Iowa City, and Sierra Manning, 7, of Cedar Rapids, have both received gifts during their stays in the hospital for cancer treatment.

Funding for the shopping expedition is being provided by Aiming for a Cure. Steve Ries, father of cancer patient Ben Ries, of Central City, organized Aiming for a Cure to support the hospital's bone marrow transplant program through an activity he and his son enjoyed: hunting with dogs.

Before he died, Ben listed items that he thought would benefit patients at UI Children's Hospital. His wish list was turned into reality through Aiming for a Cure shopping events. Patients now enjoy his suggestions for distraction and entertainment.

"His memory lives on and every day at the hospital someone may have a better day because of Ben's planning," said Lisa Baum, director of Children's Miracle Network.

Simeon and Sierra will be assisted by Child Life specialists from UI Children's Hospital and Simeon's siblings.

For more information, contact Lisa Baum with Children's Miracle Network at 319-335-8484.

University of Iowa Children's Hospital serves children and their families at its main campus in Iowa City and satellite clinics in communities throughout Iowa. A 180-bed "hospital within a hospital," UI Children's Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics. Child magazine ranks UI Children's Hospital among the top 20 children's hospitals in the nation.

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,