> Home > University Advancement > Newsroom - 2007 Press Releases > DH 07 JH051

Newsroom Archive | Experts Online

April 5 , 2007
DH 07 JH51
Contact: Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
(310) 243-2740/2001

Spring Health Fair Features Marrow Drive for CSUDH Alum and World Renowned Martial Arts Family

Carson, CA -The CSU Dominguez Hills Spring Health Fair will take place on Wednesday, April 11, from 10:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the recently expanded Loker Student Union. Along with local and national health, medical and nutrition vendors, the Health Fair will feature a former CSUDH student’s search for a life-saving cure and the expertise of an international martial arts academy.

One of the highlights of the Fair is a marrow and blood drive by the City of Hope, in support of CSUDH alumnus Jerome Williams (Class of ’91, B.S., Business Administration/Computer Information Systems). Williams, who is in the accelerated stages of leukemia, has been told by doctors that they are not sure how much longer he will live without a compatible marrow donor. (For his story, click here)

Williams, an aspiring filmmaker, is African American, French, and Native American and has been involved with not only a search for his own donor, but in building an awareness of the extreme shortage of donors for patients of color.

“I'm in the battle of my life, and I'm not giving up,” says Williams, the father of two young children. “Our next goal is to reach Oprah Winfrey, so that we can tell her audience about the critical need for minorities to become marrow donors.”

Health Fair attendees will be encouraged to contact Winfrey, who recently put out a call for stories of those who needed a medical miracle. Information will be provided with directions on how to encourage her through e-mail to feature Williams on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in an upcoming Los Angeles broadcast.

Williams was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in February 2003 after visiting the doctor for what he thought was acid reflux disease; an enlarged spleen due to the leukemia had pushed his stomach out of place, causing discomfort. Since then, he has spearheaded several bone marrow drives, and created a PSA for the City of Hope to encourage people to help find a cure. (To view, click here.)

“Jerome is still hoping and looking,” says Anita (La’Ini) Roberts, health educator, Student Health and Psychological Services. “When students see his face, they see themselves. They think, ‘He was a student here just like I am.’ We are committed to getting Jerome on Oprah’s show. We believe that when it goes nationwide, we will be able to find him a marrow match. Our campus has to make it happen, with everybody here using their talents and spreading the word to everyone they know. I can see Jerome able to look forward to a happy and healthy life because of this, so we need our students and the community to come out and support him.”

Representatives from the City of Hope will be on campus to screen students and guests for marrow and blood donations. 24 Hour Fitness, which has recently opened a new location in Carson, is donating free one-month memberships to everyone who donates blood or signs up to be a marrow donor.

At the Health Fair, the CSUDH College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) will also present a martial arts demonstration by the world-renowned Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy of Torrance. Four generations of the Gracie family have pioneered and currently teach their own variation of traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu, which enables anyone to perform the martial art or defend themselves, regardless of physical size. Two semester-long courses will be offered this summer, fall and spring of 2008 in the CSUDH Kinesiology Program: Gracie Combatives, the family’s patented techniques and Women Empowered, their women’s self-defense course.

Heidi Johannsen, special assistant to the deans, CHHS, attests to the versatility of the unique Gracie way with martial arts, which has been employed by law enforcement and U.S. military.

“I’m an ex-Marine and I learned more from them than what I learned in the Corps, in their women’s self-defense course,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how big or small a person is nor their physical conditioning. It works for everyone.”

The Health Fair will open at 10:30 with a performance by Idris, an African healing drummer, to usher in the event. Campus exhibitors include the CSUDH Alcohol Awareness Coordinating Team; Campus Dining, which will present samples of Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine meals, Associated Students, Inc., the CSUDH belly dancing class, and deejays from KDHR, the campus Internet radio station. There will also be a performance by dance students from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS), and African dance lessons will be offered at the Fair.

Professional vendors and exhibitors include Harbor UCLA Men’s Health; Schnierow Dental Care; Flavio’s Beauty College; National Coalition on Alcohol and Drug Dependency; and Kaiser Permanente. Bryman College will bring 20 massage therapists offering free massages in front of the University Bookstore.

The Health Fair will be held in the Loker Student Union on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus. CSU Dominguez Hills is located at 1000 East Victoria Street in Carson off Avalon Boulevard between the 91 and 405 freeways, east of the 110 freeway from 190th Street, which becomes East Victoria Street. Parking permits are $3 and are available from the yellow dispensing machines at the perimeters of the parking lots.

For more information on the Student Health and Psychological Services, click here or contact Anita Roberts at (310)243-3195.

Dominguez Hills - University Communications & Public Affairs
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747













Media Contacts:
Joanie Harmon
(310) 243-2740


Amy Bentley Smith

Looking for an archived release?
Please see the
Newsroom Archive
for previous news releases.


California State University, Dominguez Hills • 1000 E. Victoria Street • Carson, California 90747 • (310) 243-3696
If any of the material is in violation of a copyright, please contact copyright@csudh.edu.
Last updated April 5, 2007, 10:49 a.m.
by Joanie Harmon-Whetmore