Stem Cell Donor Recruitment For Steve Bodozian Mobilizes Community

Steve Bodozian (third from left) with Glendale Memorial Hospital staff members and ABMDR volunteers

LOS ANGELES—On the evening of March 31 the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry held a special recruitment drive in Glendale, California, seeking to find a bone marrow donor match for leukemia patient Steve Bodozian. The event, which drew strong support from the community, young Armenians in particular, took place at the Glendale Memorial Hospital Auditorium.

Bodozian, 26, suffers from acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a potentially fatal bone marrow disorder. He is in critical need of a stem cell donor for saving his life through a bone marrow transplant.

The Armenian community responded swiftly to the ABMDR’s appeal for registering as stem cell donors and making monetary contributions. At the March 31 recruitment drive, over 100 people, mostly youths, registered as potential stem cell donors. The process was facilitated by a team of volunteers headed by Recruitment Officer Fimi Mekhitarian. Throughout the evening, they provided information and collected donor samples following a very simple, non-intrusive health screening. The event was attended by Bodozian, his family, and a large number of supporters from all walks of life.

“This was one of the most successful recruitment drives we’ve had in the recent past,” Mekhitarian said. “Steve Bodozian’s plight has moved the community into action, and we’re all very gratified by the unflinching dedication of the youth.”

The recruitment drive came on the heels of a similar event, held earlier in March in Orange County, as well as two fundraising events in Glendale. All of these previous events were likewise organized in support of Bodozian.

The latest recruitment drive received extensive Armenian and mainstream media coverage. Outlets that featured the event with reports or interviews with Dr. Frieda Jordan, president of the ABMDR Board or Directors, included KABC Channel 7, KFWB Radio, KTLA Radio, Glendale News Press, The Burbank Leader, Crescenta Valley Sun, Dailynews.com, Eye Spy L.A., Yahoo.com, CV Weekly, ATVN, and USC’s Annenberg TV News.

About the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry: Established in 1999, the 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 20,000 donors in 13 countries across three continents, identified 1,696 patients, found 1,419 potential matches, and facilitated 12 bone marrow transplants.

For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit abmdr.am.

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