Yerevan Resident Donates Stem Cells to Help Save Life of Armenian Patient in Germany

Stem Cell Donor feature
The anonymous Yerevan resident who donated bone marrow stem cells for a chance to save the life of an Armenian cancer patient in Germany.

The anonymous Yerevan resident who donated bone marrow stem cells for a chance to save the life of an Armenian cancer patient in Germany.

Facilitated by ABMDR, the cell-harvesting procedure  is the 36h in the history of the organization

LOS ANGELES— Despite unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry has been able to facilitate a potentially life-saving stem cell-harvesting procedure. On January 11, a Yerevan resident, a young man who is a registered donor with ABMDR, donated bone marrow stem cells to help save the life of an Armenian cancer patient undergoing treatment in Germany. The Yerevan resident was identified as a perfect stem cell donor match for the recipient patient, who suffers from a life-threatening illness and whose last hope of survival is a stem cell transplant.

The painless, non-invasive harvesting of cells from the donor, the 36th such procedure to be performed by ABMDR, took place in the Armenian capital. As soon as the harvesting was completed, the donated cells were flown to Germany with the help of a special courier. Present at the harvesting procedure in Yerevan were ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan and ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan, among other lab-staff members.

“All of us at ABMDR are delighted for having been able to facilitate our 36th harvesting procedure,” said ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan and added, “Today, I’m proud to say that thanks to our wonderful volunteers, staff members, and supporters, ABMDR continues to stand by our patients and communities across the world.”

From left: ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan, the special courier who took the harvested stem cells to Germany, and ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan.

From left: ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan, the special courier who took the harvested stem cells to Germany, and ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan.

Dr. Jordan also stated that although the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted ABMDR, the organization continues to conduct donor-search requests and tissue-typing for its patients, and continues to provide them with support and counseling remotely. In addition, Dr. Jordan said, ABMDR has launched a vitally-important research project, with the goal of understanding how COVID-19 affects the health of ethnic Armenians, in Armenia and beyond. This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the founding of ABMDR.

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 32,000 donors in 44 countries across four continents, identified over 9,000 patients, and facilitated 36 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit abmdr.am.

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