System of a Down band member Daron Malakian, with the help of bandmates Shavo Odadjian, Serj Tankian, and John Dolmayan, as well as their managements, are offering a reward of $37,000 for a matching bone marrow donor for Los Angeles resident Rafee Al-Saeegh.
Rafee, Malakian’s childhood friend, began fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in October of 2019. He now desperately needs a bone marrow transplant in order to survive. This was made complicated by the Covid-19 crisis, which prevents Rafee from finding a match by testing people in person. Instead, Rafee has to rely on an online virtual drive to get as many people tested before time runs out. Due to his Armenian and Chaldean ancestry, Rafee and his wife Arsineh are asking for help from the Armenian community due to a higher likelihood of a match.
“Rafee and I have been friends for over 30 years. We met when we were 12 years old”, Malakian writes in an Instagram post. “Right now, he needs a bone marrow transplant to survive, and we have only a small window of opportunity to find a match, so your help means so much.”
To help Rafee, one need only register with the DKMS bone drive and follow the instructions to order a swab testing kit through the mail. Rafee also has a Facebook page with registration links and instructions.
As Malakian points out- even if you are not a match for Rafee, you might help someone else who is fighting the disease.