ABMDR Marks World Marrow Day with Major Recruitments In Armenia

French University students
Soldiers at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute filling out applications for becoming ABMDR donors

Soldiers at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute filling out applications for becoming ABMDR donors

Recruits include 85 soldiers who join ABMDR in honor of fallen comrades

LOS ANGELES—On September 16 and 17, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry celebrated World Marrow Donor Day by holding several donor recruitments in Yerevan.

The first of the recruitments took place on September 16 at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute, where ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan made a presentation and a team from ABMDR’s Yerevan lab recruited soldiers as potential bone marrow donors. Eighty-five soldiers joined the ranks of ABMDR in honor of two fallen comrades, officers Hovsep Kirakosyan and Ashot Shahbazyan, who were killed in battle during the April 2016 Azerbaijani attack against Artsakh. Both officers were registered as ABMDR donors.

Fallen Artsakh soldiers Ashot Shahbazyan and Hovsep Kirakosyan

Fallen Artsakh soldiers Ashot Shahbazyan and Hovsep Kirakosyan

Recruitments continued on September 17, with the participation of hundreds of students and other supporters at the French University of Armenia, the European Regional Education Academy, and the French Professional Academy in Armenia. A total of 150 potential bone marrow donors were recruited at these events, which featured presentations by ABMDR leaders, including Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan.

The recruitments took place in the plaza of the French University of Armenia, featuring musical performances by students, an athletic show by Street Workout Armenia, and presentations on the life-saving mission of ABMDR.

An ABMDR staff member administering a simple pre-recruitment checkup

An ABMDR staff member administering a simple pre-recruitment checkup

“As we celebrate World Marrow Donor Day, we can take heart in the fact that over 28 million people across the globe are registered as potential bone marrow donors, more than 28,000 of whom are Armenians,” Dr. Nazaretyan said. “Donating bone marrow stem cells is 100 percent safe and painless, and absolutely necessary for saving a fellow human being’s life.”

Speakers who delivered remarks included Varduhi Shahinyan, a nurse and an ABMDR stem cell donor, who some years ago helped save the life of a young patient in Greece. “Frankly, I was terrified of the process of donating bone marrow stem cells, Shahinyan recalled. “But when I was identified as a perfect match for a patient in Greece and braced myself to go through the stem cell harvesting process, I was surprised at how easy, painless, and non-invasive it was. Becoming a bone marrow donor was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I encourage every healthy Armenian to register with ABMDR as a potential donor.”

French University students

French University students

“Our donor recruitments are extremely important grassroots events,” said Dr. Frieda Jordan, president of ABMDR. “First, they raise public awareness of the life-saving mission of ABMDR and the fact that currently there are thousands of patients who are in desperate need of bone marrow transplants. And second, they promote a culture of giving and create great enthusiasm, particularly among the youth, inspiring large numbers of individuals to become registered as potential bone marrow donors — and to have the chance of saving a life! We couldn’t be happier with the results of our Yerevan recruitments on the occasion of World Marrow Donor Day.”

Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps Armenians and non-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 28,000 donors in 42 countries across four continents, identified over 4,200 patients, and facilitated 27 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit abmdr.am.

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