Stem Cells Harvested from Yerevan Donor, For a Chance to Save the Life of Her Brother in the U.S.
LOS ANGELES—A Yerevan resident, Anahit, donated bone marrow stem cells on May 23 to help save the life of her younger brother, who lives in the United States. The harvesting of the donated stem cells was the 40th procedure of its type facilitated by the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. It was performed in response to a donor-search request made by the National Marrow Donor Program, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ABMDR is a co-op member of the National Marrow Donor Program.
The painless, non-invasive harvesting of Anahit’s donated stem cells took place at ABMDR’s Stem Cell Harvesting Center, in the Armenian capital. Thanks to the procedure, the donated stem cells were to be used for an urgent transplant that could help Anahit’s brother survive his life-threatening blood-related illness.
“Once Anahit was identified as a matched stem cell donor, she did not hesitate for a moment to donate her stem cells,” said ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan and continued, “Anahit immediately checked in at the ABMDR center in Yerevan, to undergo the stem cell harvesting procedure that could help save her brother’s life.”
Present at the procedure were Dr. Avagyan and ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan, among other medical and lab personnel. As soon as the harvesting was completed, the donated stem cells were flown to the United States via a special courier.
“We are extremely proud to be a co-op member of the National Marrow Donor Program, and delighted to be able to provide it with a matched donor for helping save a life in America,” said ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan.
“Every transplant is a challenge, involving the work of many specialists,” Dr. Jordan continued. “But once the process is set in motion, everyone involved focuses on a single goal, which is to get the donated stem cells to the patient as quickly as possible for helping them survive a potentially fatal illness.”
“This year, as we celebrate the 24th anniversary of the founding of ABMDR, I think our motto remains as urgent as ever: ‘Be an angel, save a life,'” Dr. Jordan added.
Anyone in good health between the ages of 18 and 50 can register with ABMDR as a potential bone marrow stem cell donor, for a chance to save someone’s life. Given the unique genetic makeup of ethnic Armenians, ABMDR needs to maintain a robust global registry of Armenian donors.
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 33,500 donors in 44 countries across four continents, identified over 9,000 patients, and facilitated 40 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit the ABMDR website.