LOS ANGELES—The 11th annual Laughter for Life, the comedy event organized by the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), dazzled a large audience in Los Angeles. The sold-out event, which benefits the worldwide activities of ABMDR, took place on November 17, at the famed Comedy Store.
The lineup of comedians, brought together by Sam Tripoli, included headliner Ahmed Ahmed, host K-von, Fahim Anwar, Jackie Kashian, and Vincent Oshana.
“Laughter for Life is all about having a blast while supporting the life-saving mission of ABMDR,” said Tripoli, a veteran comedian whose work has been seen on Showtime and Comedy Central. As in previous years, Tripoli as well as ABMDR Board member Lara Yeretsian, both longtime members of the Registry’s Comedy Night Committee, were instrumental in the success of the event.
In her opening remarks, Yeretsian spoke of the vital importance of joining the ranks of ABMDR as potential bone marrow stem cell donors, and highlighted the Registry’s most recent milestones. Among these, she said, are new services provided at ABMDR’s Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Yerevan, including molecular diagnostics and mutation analysis for determining susceptibility to breast cancer and sensitivity to certain drugs and treatments, and pioneering autotransplantation and cryopreservation procedures.
“Given its stellar lineup of performers and the enthusiastic support of the community, the 11th annual Laughter for Life has been an unprecedented success,” Yeretsian said. “Ahmed Ahmed and his fellow comedians had the crowd laugh to the point of tears, while K-von, the star of MTV’s hit show ‘Disaster Date,’ kept the energy going in-between acts.”
The show also included an artful performance by an ensemble of pole dancers who mesmerized the audience.
Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, the registry has recruited over 25,000 donors in 18 countries across four continents, identified 2,135 patients, and facilitated 17 bone marrow transplants.