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Media Memo: International Crafts Sale to Raise Money for Bone Marrow Registry Drive

TO: News Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume, Director

DATE: Dec. 8, 2008

SUBJECT: International Crafts Sale to Raise Money for Bone Marrow Registry Drive

An International Crafts Sale being held Dec. 8-9 in Davies Center at UW-Eau Claire will raise funds to defray the costs of registration for a Bone Marrow Registry Drive planned for March 2009 on campus. The drive will be part of the second event in the Eberth Alarcon Memorial Peace and Justice Lecture Series, coordinated by the Staff and Faculty for Peace and Justice at UW-Eau Claire.

The crafts sale — which will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday — will offer American Indian jewelry, bead work, baby gifts, native print pillows, hats and scarves made by the Native American Student Association at UW-Eau Claire. Also for sale, will be scarves and purses from India, donated by Asha Sen, widow of Alarcon; Ecuadorean dolls and wall hangings donated by the family of Alarcon; and needle work made by Hmong students.

Event organizers hope to educate the community about the special need for donors from a variety of ethnic groups. There is a critical shortage of bone marrow available for people from minority groups, according to organizers.

Eberth Alarcon was a UW-Eau Claire professor of mathematics and social justice activist who died Sept. 26, 2006, after a battle against acute leukemia. He joined the faculty in 1995, and there met the colleague who would become his wife, Dr. Asha Sen of the English department. Sen said they could not find a suitable bone marrow donor for her husband, who is of Ecuadorian heritage.

Kyle Buchmann, a UW-Eau Claire graduate who works in the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, battled leukemia as a student. He will be at the sale at noon today (Monday) to answer questions about the importance of bone marrow donation and how much easier it has become in recent years.

Sen also will be available when possible to answer questions.

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