On Sunday, August 15, Diocese churches will observe Prayer Day for the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
LOS ANGELES— Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, renewed the Diocese’s long-standing partnership with the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry reaffirming its strong support of the Registry’s life-saving mission.
Archbishop Derderian conveyed his support during a meeting with a delegation of ABMDR representatives. The meeting, the first of its kind since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, was held on July 14 at the Western Diocese, in Burbank, California, and attended by members of the Board of ABMDR, including the pan-Armenian organization’s president, Dr. Frieda Jordan.
Also during the meeting, Archbishop Derderian announced that, at his request and in keeping with a long-established tradition, all Diocese churches will hold a special Prayer Day on August 15, in order to offer prayers for ABMDR patients and their families, to raise public awareness of ABMDR’s activities and ongoing projects, and to encourage community members to join the ranks of ABMDR as potential bone marrow donors.
As it’s customary, the Prayer Day marks the start of ABMDR’s major annual community-outreach and fundraising events, including the Match for Life Gala, which will take place in Los Angeles on August 22, as well as the Walk of Life walkathons, which will be held this fall in Glendale, California, and Watertown, Massachusetts.
“We are deeply grateful to Archbishop Hovnan Derderian for his steadfast support of our life-saving mission,” said Dr. Frieda Jordan. “Today, as our organization emerges from the pandemic stronger than ever and with a renewed commitment to our pan-Armenian cause, we look forward to resuming all of our activities and ensuring their success with our community’s grassroots support.”
Dr. Jordan added that although ABMDR was severely impacted by the pandemic, it has continued to conduct donor-search requests and tissue-typing for its patients, and also continued to provide them with support and counseling remotely. Furthermore, Dr. Jordan stated, in early 2021, ABMDR has facilitated its 36th stem cell-harvesting procedure, and implemented a far-reaching research project with the goal of understanding how COVID-19 affects the health of ethnic Armenians. ABMDR has presented the findings of this research at the joint conference of the European Federation for Immunogenetics and the British Society for Histocompatibility, held in April of this year.
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 the website.