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GRIFF VERSUS THE SKYSCRAPER


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Griff, the beloved mascot of the Grand Rapids Griffins, will be at the end of his rope tomorrow morning when he rappels nearly 400 feet down the River House Condominiums, the tallest building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Griff will join other local celebrities taking the plunge in advance of “Over the Edge,” a fundraiser to benefit the Marrow/Stem Cell and Cord Blood programs at Michigan Community Blood Centers. Weather permitting, his 33-story descent is set for 7 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 5.

Members of the general public who’ve donated a minimum of $1,000 will take their turn at this extreme rappelling experience from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Through this high-visibility, high-adventure event, the Blood Center and its partners hope to raise awareness of, and support for, Cord Blood and Marrow/Stem Cell programs. Transplants of stem cells from marrow and cord blood may represent the best hope of survival for patients with some kinds of diseases that otherwise could be fatal, including certain types of cancer. According to current estimates, marrow/stem-cell transplants could benefit more 35,000 patients with life-threatening diseases each year.

Established in 1999, the Cord Blood Bank at Michigan Community Blood Centers is the state’s first and largest facility of its kind, and one of only about 25 public (no charge to donate) cord blood banks in the U.S. One donated umbilical cord may provide enough stem cells for transplant to a child with a life-threatening disease; two cords may provide enough for an adult transplant. Each unit of cord blood costs about $1,000 to process, test, and store. After extensive testing determines the tissue type of each donated unit, this information is entered in worldwide databases and also is available through direct search from the Cord Blood Bank.

The Blood Center’s Marrow/Stem Cell program recruits prospective marrow donors throughout Michigan for the National Marrow Program’s international donor base, and also provides supportive services to marrow donors and to patients who need transplants.

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