Donor Appreciation Day Marked in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– The government of Armenia passed a law dedicating January 8 as Donor Day in Armenia–in appreciation for all the bone marrow and blood donors who very generously donated to the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry.

A year ago–on January 8–the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry received its first donors. Armenia’s First Lady Bella Kocharian was the first donor–and was elected Honorary President of the Trust.

To donate to the Registry–potential donors donate their blood so that the Registry can determine his or her gene profile. Later–the Registry searches its pool of donors to find one whose bone marrow is most compatible with the patient’s bone marrow.

According to Frieda Jordan (one of its founders)–last year–about 2,500 people were added to the Armenian Registry. Among them are students–teachers–employees of hospitals and clinics–and representatives from public organizations. Among potential donors are also Armenia’s in the Diaspora–especially from the United States. The Registry’s main partner is the Glendale Memorial Hospital. The hospital’s Armenian employees are also included in the Registry. Soon–as the founders of the Registry hope–Armenia’s from Europe–Iran–and the Middle East will join them as well.

For the Registry to become fully capable of helping all of its needy patients–the number of potential donors needs to reach 10,000.

Jordan expects the Registry will reach its goal by the year 2004. Currently there are 20 patients waiting for proper donors.

The new holiday was marked by a ceremonial event and a concert at Aram Khachatrian Concert Hall attended by Bella Kocharian. All the proceeds from the Vladimir Spivakov concert–held in December in Paris–was donated to the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry.

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