Heppner Foods fights anemia

Heppner Family Foods owners, Bert and Kim Houweling, are supporting fundraising for bone marrow research by accepting donations for pink, red and white hearts to be displayed in their Main Street grocery store. Pictured are Family Food employees Elizabeth Titus and Amy Patterson.<BR><I> Photo contributed by Kay Proctor</i>

Heppner Family Foods is hoping area residents will "Have a Heart!" Store owners, Bert and Kim Houweling are helping a fundraising effort for bone marrow research by accepting donations for pink, red and white hearts to be displayed in their Main Street grocery store. Donors may write their names or a message on the hearts. The campaign runs now until Feb. 15.

The money raised also will help fund research for Fanconi anemia, a rare disease known primarily as causing bone marrow failure in children, researchers believe that FA is under diagnosed as the primary cause of many head and neck cancers, heart and liver failures, pituitary gland diseases as well as hand and lower arm birth defects.

A Heppner family has dealt with Fanconi anemia in two of their children. In 2007, their son underwent a successful bone marrow transplant in New York. In 2000, survival rate of a FA bone marrow transplant patient was only 25 percent. Thanks to worldwide research funded by Fanconi anemia Research Fund, the success rate has climbed to 75 percent.

For more information, go to www.fanconi.org or the Heppner fundraiser chairperson, Kay Proctor at 676-9827.

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