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Lodges Walk for Life for Cooley's Anemia

Order Sons of Italy®® Lodges to Host Walk for Life to Benefit Cooley's Anemia

Contact: Diane E. Crespy, (202) 547-2900

Washington, D.C., Aug. 25, 1998 - Order Sons of Italy®® (OSIA) lodges across the country are preparing for the first National OSIA Walk for Life Day, a fund-raising event scheduled for Oct. 3, 1998, which will benefit the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Inc.

"This example of leadership by the Order Sons of Italy in America® is unprecedented. This project will greatly benefit our combined efforts to cure this disease, and will also educate about thalassemia trait," Cooley's Anemia Foundation National Executive Director Gina Cioffi said.

Each participating lodge will determine the walking distance and location. Sponsorships are per walk, not per mile as many walk-a-thons are.

Cooley's anemia, or thalassemia trait, is a fatal, genetic, blood disorder that primarily strikes people of Mediterranean heritage. Patients survive by receiving blood transfusions every few weeks. There is no cure yet, but bone marrow transplants and gene therapy procedures provide hope that there one day will be a cure. More than two million Americans are carriers of the genetic trait for Cooley's anemia.

The Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Inc. was designated as an official national charity of OSIA in the late 1980s. Since then OSIA, through its nonprofit branch, the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF), has raised more than $1 million for Cooley's Anemia research.

For more information on a walk in your area, contact your OSIA state grand lodge, or the OSIA national office at (202) 547-2900.