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January 23, 1997

Blood drive donations may help professor's daughter

Members of the University community are being asked to help one of Pitt's own during the faculty and staff blood drives scheduled for Jan. 28 and 30.

The Jan. 28 drive will be from 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Forbes Quad Galleria and on the 15th floor of the Biomedical Science Tower. The Jan. 30 drive will be from 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Forbes Quad Galleria only. To register for either day call Gwen Watkins at 383-1628.

Hoping for help during the blood drive is Aimee Chesler Fredette, 32, who may need of bone marrow transplant. Fredette is the daughter of Herb Chesler, who has been a faculty member at the University for 34 years and is currently serving as interim chair of the economics department.

Fredette is a Pitt alumna, having obtained a master's degree in special education from the University, and is the daughter-in-law of Barbara Fredette, a faculty member in the School of Education.

Physicians treating Aimee Fredette are not certain whether she will need a bone marrow transplant, but Chesler said the family would like to be prepared if one is required.

"We would like to get as many people as possible to volunteer to have their marrow typed so that the donor pool gets augmented and maybe there will be a match available if a transplant is called for," Chesler said. "We obviously will be indebted to everybody who agrees to help." All that is required of a potential bone marrow donor is permission to type-test a very small amount of blood, said Steve Zupcic, volunteer pool coordinator.

"There is no additional blood taken," Zupcic said. "You simply donate a pint of blood and from that they remove a very small amount to do matching for bone marrow transplants." Those who agree to have their blood tested will become part of the National Bone Marrow Registry. People listed on the registry have indicated a willingness to possibly donate bone marrow for a transplant. However, there is no obligation that those listed in the bone marrow registry must donate if contacted, according to Zupcic.

–Mike Sajna

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