LOS ANGELES—Prayers for patients and families of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry were offered at all Western Prelacy churches on Sunday, September 12. The event was initiated by Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, in keeping with the Prelacy’s longstanding tradition of observing an annual prayer day in honor of ABMDR.
This year’s prayer day was held on the occasion of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Ton Veratsman Surb Khachi), as Bishop Donoyan celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral, in Montebello, California. During his sermon, the Prelate praised ABMDR for its spirit of volunteerism and selfless dedication, in the ongoing quest to save the lives of patients suffering from life-threatening blood-related illnesses, he said.
Bishop Donoyan informed the congregation that despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABMDR has not only continued to fulfill its mission during the lockdown, but conducted a major research project to determine how COVID-19 affects ethnic Armenians. Subsequently the Bishop reiterated the Western Prelacy’s strong support of ABMDR, and urged congregants to join its ranks as potential bone marrow donors, for a chance to save someone’s life.
Among the congregants in attendance were members of the ABMDR Board and volunteers, including Dr. Frieda Jordan, president of the pan-Armenian organization. Following the church service, the ABMDR representatives were on hand to answer questions by parishioners and provide information on how to join ABMDR as potential bone marrow donors.
“My colleagues and I are delighted by Bishop Torkom Donoyan’s heartfelt support of our work,” Dr. Jordan said afterwards and continued: “We also admire the Prelate’s commitment to helping ensure our communities’ active participation in ABMDR’s outreach and recruitment efforts, in California and beyond.”
In the past 18 months, ABMDR has continued to perform donor-search requests and tissue-typing for its patients, and continued to provide them with support and counseling, despite the obstacles brought on by the pandemic. In addition, ABMDR has facilitated its 34th, 35th, and 36th stem cell-harvesting procedures for life-saving transplants, and is now in the process of developing a DNA bank for military personnel serving in Armenia and Artsakh.
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.