South Notes: Amy's Army visits college

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Amy's Army is teaming up with students at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University and the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation to enlarge the ranks of the National Bone Marrow Registry. The Mt. Lebanon-based group and volunteers from both universities are holding a bone marrow donor drive today from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Hillel Jewish University Center at 4607 Forbes Ave.

Amy's Army started in 2003 to find a bone marrow donor for Amy Katz, now 15, who has leukemia. The group held drives in 12 states throughout the country, registering more than 8,000 people in the National Bone Marrow Registry. Although 22 donors have been found as a match for others, no match has been found for Amy.

Amy suffers from chronic myelogenous leukemia, a disease that is rare for people her age. She is responding to treatment, but the only cure for her type of leukemia is a bone marrow transplant. Because tissue type is inherited, and Amy is Jewish, the best chance for a match lies within the Jewish community.

The Hillel drive represents the group's effort to appeal to college students. "We have always had a great response from college students in our efforts to find a match,'' said Lisa Katz, Amy's mother.

It takes less than 20 minutes to get tested using a pain-free cheek swab sample. For more and to pre-register, visit www.amysarmy.org or call 1-877-AID-4 AMY.

Weather outside frightful, PennDOT advice delightful


To help motorists prepare for all that snow and ice headed our way over the next months, PennDOT has put together a new winter driving guide and online information site.

"If you must travel during severe weather, you should keep an emergency travel kit in your vehicles and be certain that your vehicle is prepared," said PennDOT Secretary Allen Bichler.

The new winter driving guide is available at www.dot.state.pa.us. The guide provides tips and a list of what should be included in a simple emergency travel kit, items such as first aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, warm clothes, a blanket and a small snow shovel.

The new online site provides a variety of useful tools, including current weather-related travel conditions and closures for all interstates, updated every 15 minutes. The site also provides links to traffic cameras, roadway weather information systems and real-time weather conditions.

There's also a new, toll-free customer hotline to get interstate road conditions, which are updated every 15 minutes. Call 1-888-783-6783. Happy trails to you.



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