STEPANAKERT—During an unprecedented series of donor recruitment events held on March 26 and 27 in Artsakh, a total of 400 youths, including university students and faculty members, joined the ranks of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
The recruitments, organized under the auspices of Narine Aghabalyan, Artsakh’s Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs; and Karine Atayan, Minister of Healthcare, were held at Artsakh State University, Mesrop Mashtots University, Grigor Narekatsi University, and Artsakh State Medical Center, all in Stepanakert, and Shushi University of Technology. Also participating in the ABMDR recruitment effort was the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Artsakh, which held a recruitment event at the newly renovated ARS Soseh Kindergarten, in Stepanakert.
The recruitment events were met with extraordinary enthusiasm and interest, as ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan and ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan delivered presentations on the life-saving mission of the Registry. Emphasizing the crucial importance of maintaining a robust global registry of bone marrow donors, Doctors Avagyan and Nazaretyan spoke about the most recent achievements of ABMDR — including its vital role in Armenia’s first-ever transplantation center — as well as the organization’s plans for expanding its activities worldwide.
“As it lives under the constant threat of war, the youth of Artsakh has a profound understanding of the necessity of helping others survive life-threatening situations,” Dr. Avagyan said. “I think this unique awareness is a key reason that so many wonderful young men and women joined ABMDR’s global family as potential bone marrow donors on March 26 and 27.” Registering the new recruits were members of an ABMDR team from the organization’s HLA Typing Laboratory in Yerevan.
Dr. Avagyan also mentioned that two of the Armenian soldiers who had lost their lives during the April War of 2016, Hovsep Kirakosyan and Ashot Shahbazyan, were bone marrow donors registered with ABMDR. They had joined the Registry during recruitments at Yerevan’s Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute, one of ABMDR’s staunchest supporters.
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 29,000 donors in 29 countries across four continents, identified 4,341 patients, and facilitated 30 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit abmdr.am.