The harvesting of the donated stem cells is the 41st such procedure performed by ABMDR
LOS ANGELES—A young man in Yerevan donated bone marrow stem cells on Tuesday to help save the life of a fellow Armenian.
The harvesting of the donated stem cells was the 41st such procedure to be performed by the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. The painless, non-invasive harvesting took place at ABMDR’s Stem Cell Harvesting Center, in the Armenian capital.
Thanks to the procedure, the donated stem cells were to be used for an urgent transplant that could help a patient, himself an Armenian young man, survive a life-threatening blood-related illness.
“More than two decades ago, when ABMDR was being established, our overarching goal was to find donor matches for patients living anywhere in the world,” said ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan and continued, “Today, the significant increase in the number of such donor matches speaks to the fact that ABMDR, thanks to its pool of close to 34,000 potential donors, is able to secure a level of genetic diversity that is essential for patients for whom matched donors can’t be found in their immediate families.”
On December 5, ABMDR’s latest donor said that years ago, when he joined the ranks of the Registry as a 19-year-old, he hadn’t given much thought to the possibility that one day he could actually be identified as a match for a patient. “But now I am overjoyed for having been given the opportunity to donate stem cells, thanks to the great ABMDR team,” the donor said.
The harvesting procedure was performed by Dr. Andranik Mshetsyan, the Stem Cell Harvesting Center’s resident physician. Also present at the procedure were ABMDR Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan and other lab personnel.
Commenting on the harvesting procedure and the transplantation that was to follow, ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan said, “Every transplant is a challenge, involving the work of many specialists. But once the process is set in motion, everyone involved focuses on a single goal, which is to get the donated stem cells to the patient as quickly as possible for helping them survive a potentially fatal illness.”
Anyone in good health between the ages of 18 and 50 can register with ABMDR as a potential bone marrow stem cell donor, for a chance to save someone’s life. Given the unique genetic makeup of ethnic Armenians, ABMDR needs to maintain a robust global registry of Armenian donors.
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 33,500 donors in 44 countries across four continents, identified over 9,000 patients, and facilitated 41 bone marrow transplants.