Jan 192005
Authors: Joanna Larez

Tips for blood donors

(According to the American Red Cross Web site)

* Bring photo identification.

* Avoid drinks with caffeine before donation.

* Drink extra water for the next 24 to 48 hours.

* Weigh at least 110 pounds.

* No new tattoos in the past year.

* Avoid strenuous activities the day of donation.

A more detailed list of requirements is available at www.redcross.org.

Time, blood and moral support are simple donations that can thank a professor for his time and work at CSU.

Duane Lassen, professor of microbiology, immunology and pathology, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer, about five years ago. A blood and bone marrow drive in honor of Lassen is being held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 300 W. Drake Road.

Blood will be collected in the parking lot at the VTH and blood marrow will be collected in room 118.

Brooke Taylor, administrative assistant of the clinical pathology VTH, organized the day of donations to raise awareness.

Since bone marrow matches are difficult to find, Taylor said she does not expect to find a match for Lassen at the drive. However, she would be very excited if a match is found.

"It would be amazing for me if during this drive we'd have a match," Taylor said.

Lassen is in Arkansas undergoing treatment.

"I know him as a nice guy with a fighting attitude that I really respect," said Jeff Wilusz, chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology. "In the department it's inspirational."

Lassen has studied multiple myeloma at the university and his illness added a new perspective to the studies.

"There was always this uncomfortable thing that would happen every week," said Lila Ramaiah, a veterinary clinical pathology resident whom Lassen supervised. "We would get samples of multiple myeloma."

Lassen would lighten the mood by joking about still being alive to look at more samples of multiple myeloma.

"He almost ended up referring to what he was going through with the cases," Ramaiah said.

She describes Lassen as "soft-spoken and diplomatic," but she said she has only known him for about four and a half years.

"I didn't know him before he was sick," Ramaiah said. "I've heard he was more vibrant and energetic."

Wilusz said treatment and therapy does exist for the cancer. The process for a cure is difficult, because it is a stem-cell disease in which the body makes too many of one specific cell. The blood is the overwhelmed by that cell, Wilusz said.

"The key to treating this is to kill all the cells," Wilusz said.

All the blood marrow must be replaced. The drive could help Lassen and many other patients.

"You need to have a bone marrow donor pool as wide as possible," Wilusz said.



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