Simpson College is holding its first marrow donor registration drive today (Tuesday) to benefit a faculty member and others who may soon need transplants. Deb Hoyle, membership coordinator for the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, says the drive runs from 11 A.M. until 7 P.M.People will fill out consent forms and medical questionnaires and with clearance, will have a small blood sample drawn. The drive is open to anyone and is being held at the Brenton Student Center at the Indianola campus. Hoyle says there was heavy turnout at last week’s celebration in Iowa City for everyone who has donated marrow to the Iowa program — and for all of the people who are still alive thanks to the transplants.To volunteer, people need to be between the ages of 18 and 60 and be in general good health. When joining the Iowa Marrow Donor Program, a person’s tissue type becomes 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. Hoyle says the inspiration for today’s drive in Indianola is Simpson College Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Ellens.Physicians diagnosed Ellens with a form of leukemia in May 2002. Currently in remission, he will need a transplant should his current therapy fail. Ellens’ two siblings are not matches for him, and he knows that he will rely on the donor registry for an unrelated, matched donor. On average, 25-to-30 donors are called to donate each year from the Iowa Marrow Donor Program’s registry of more than 20-thousand people. Some two-thousand people join the registries each year. For more information, call 800-944-8220 of “www.iowamarrow.org”.
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