ABMDR holds donor-recruitment drive, encourages community members to register as donors
LOS ANGELES—The Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry held a donor-recruitment drive at St. Gregory Armenian Church in Glendale on December 6, in support of an Armenian patient in Los Angeles, Constantin Malek Andrasians, as well as other patients across the world. Malek Andrasians, 65, is suffering from a life-threatening blood-related illness. His only chance of survival is to have a bone marrow stem-cell transplant, which would be possible only if he is matched with a stem-cell donor.
The recruitment drive was organized jointly with members of Malek Andrasians’ family. The family was also instrumental in raising public awareness of their loved one’s plight.
Prior to the registration of new donors, Dr. Frieda Jordan, President of ABMDR, informed the attendees about the simple process of becoming a potential donor, as well as the steps involved in donating bone marrow stem cells — which in turn would lead to saving someone’s life through a transplant.
“We hope to find a matched donor for our patient and all patients who are desperately waiting to have a life-saving transplant through a matched donor,” stated Dr. Jordan, who also emphasized ABMDR’s ongoing commitment to supporting and closely working with families of patients. “We treat each family as our own, sharing their concerns at every step of the way and assisting them in their hours of need,” she said.
With ABMDR volunteers on hand to answer questions, give out vital information, and administer a simple swab test, a total of 72 supporters joined the ranks of ABMDR as potential bone marrow donors.
Fimi Mekhitarian, ABMDR’s West Coast Recruitment Officer, underscored the fact that the more people join the Registry, patients like Constantin Malek Andrasians will have a better chance of being matched with a donor. “We’re encouraging every Armenian person in good health, between the ages of 18 and 50, to register with ABMDR as a potential stem-cell donor, for the deeply rewarding opportunity to help save someone’s life one day,” she said.
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 30 countries across four continents, identified over 4,190 patients, and facilitated 30 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit abmdr.am.