Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ms. Alvart Badalian, Member of the Board of Directors

Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR)
PO Box 733, Watertown, MA 02471 USA
617.926.8585
alvart @ yahoo.com

Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Steps Up Its Awareness Campaign to Inspire Support

The public is invited to a discussion and video presentation on the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) at the First Armenian Church, 380 Concord Avenue, Belmont, on Sunday, November 6, 2005, from 3:00-5:00 PM.

This event follows six months of active donor recruitment in the Greater Boston area. "We have been extremely well received by the community since we started recruitment in Massachusetts in May of this year," says ABMDR East Coast Donor Services Coordinator, Marilyn Bazarian of Belmont. "We just completed successful recruitments at the First Armenia Church of Belmont and St James Church in Watertown and are looking forward to a similar success at St Stephens Church Bazaar on November 4 and 5."

Cofounders Dr. Frieda Jordan, President, and Dr. Sevak Avagyan, Executive Director from Armenia, and ABMDR staff and Board members will be touring the United States this Fall in a campaign to raise awareness and promote the organization's efforts to help patients suffering from leukemia and other blood related diseases. Alique Topalian, the 12 year-old leukemia survivors from Cleveland and her mother, Michele Seyranian, both strong advocates of the ABMDR, will also participate in the November 6th event. "I am one of the lucky ones I survived, but not all kids are as lucky as I am. It's up to us to make sure that more and more kids are able to beat childhood cancers. It only takes a small vial of blood or a few dollars to help. Together we can make sure that Armenians diagnosed with blood cancers have a chance to find a donor," says Alique.

With headquarters in Los Angeles and laboratory facilities in Yerevan, Armenia, the ABMDR is a not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to ensure that every ethnic Armenian, as well as non-Armenian, struck with a life-threatening blood-related illness is able to find hope for long-term survival through the identification of a genetically suitable bone marrow match. In the US, the ABMDR has partnered with the Caitlin Raymond International Registry UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Since December 2000, through cross-national cooperation, the ABMDR has recruited over 10,000 donors, received and processed over 400 search requests, identified 300 potential matches, and facilitated six bone marrow and stem cell transplants in Armenia, the United States, and Europe. Five of the transplantations occurred in the last year. Dr. Jordan, acknowledging the recent successes, notes, "We feel extremely blessed to be making the progress we are with transplantations, and we must continue to make people aware of the Registry to ensure that our momentum continues."

Among the supporters of ABMDR are local Representatives Rachel Kaprielian and Peter Koutoujian who will attend the November 6th event in a show of support and encouragement. "I am proud to support this critical and already successful effort, which promises to continue growing and further help bring Armenians together to save lives." Says Representative Kaprielian who became a donor last May.

"We expect a great turn out on November 6th," noted Alvart Badalian, ABMDR Board member from Watertown. "This is a great opportunity to learn first hand about the accomplishments of the ABMDR and the challenges it faces in reaching out to the Armenian patients worldwide."

The event is open to the public and admission is free. A coffee and sweets table reception will follow the presentation. For more information contact Marilyn Bazarian at (617) 484-1072 or buzzy6@msn.com. To learn more about the ABMDR visit www.abmdr.am or email abmdria @ sbcglobal.net or Frieda.Jordan @ att.net


6 year anniversary

Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Celebrates Six Years of Success

LOS ANGELES - When Glendale Memorial Hospital President Catherine Pelley gave her acceptance speech last week for her award as "Woman of the Year" from the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), the crowd assembled understood the power of her words. Most of the over 300 attending the ABMDR's 6th annual "Match For Life" fundraising gala are committed volunteers and financial supporters of the organization who know how good it feels to help ethnic Armenians worldwide find hope for survival from life-threatening blood-related diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and aplastic anemia.

A key method of treating people with these diseases is through bone marrow/stem cell transplants from a donor. On average, it takes 200 donorsto find a precise match for one patient. In order to treat Armenian patients, bone marrow transplants require compatible tissue types that match the genetic makeup of the patient, which is most likely to come from other Armenian donors. Currently the ABMDR has identified 854 patients in need, and from its registry of 14,000 donors has found 695 matches and facilitated 7 transplantations around the globe.

Recruiting donors in Armenia and throughout the diaspora takes time and resources from many people and organizations. At the gala event, presided by Master of Ceremony Mark Geragos, Chair of the ABMDR board of directors, several key supporters were recognized for their contributions: Glendale Memorial Hospital President Catherine Pelley, Woman of the Year, Chief Administratorat St. Joseph medical Center Patrick Petre, Man of the Year; ABMDR board member Michele Seyranian and comedian Sam Tripoli (who coordinates a fundraiser for the organization every year at the Comedy Store), Volunteers of the Year; and Sidon Travel, Business of the Year.

While accepting her award Seyranian, who is the mother of cancer survivor Alique Topalian, announced to the audience the ABMDR's plans for establishing a Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Armenia, which will be the only center of its kind in the region, and a vital component of the organization's future success. Total cost of outfitting the Center is over $500,000. "We have a huge challenge ahead of us," noted ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan, "but we have already raised nearly $100,000, and we are hopeful that those who have the means to help us realize this vision will see the opportunity to make a significant difference - to help save lives for years to come."

Already the ABMDR's laboratory in Armenia has transformed the country into an active player in the medical community; last spring it became the first laboratory of its kind in the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet republics) to receive accreditation from the highly respected European Immunogenetics Federation. The ABMDR is a member of the World Marrow DonorAssociation and Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide, and operates recruitment centers in Los Angeles, Boston, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.

Those who wish to learn more about the Registry and "do good for yourself by doing good for others" may contact ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan at 3111 Los Feliz Blvd., Suite 206, Los Angeles, CA; by calling (323) 663-3609; or e-mailing abmdrla@sbcglobal.net or Frieda.Jordan@att.net . The website forthe Registry is www.abmdr.am

ABMDR Completes Recruitment Drive In Lebanon

ABMDR Completes Recruitment Drive In Lebanon

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

A scene from the recruitment event in Bourdj Hammoud

Campaign leads to broad community support and heightened public awareness

LOS ANGELES-From January 27 to 29, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) conducted a highly successful recruitment campaign in Lebanon.

Led by Dr. Sevak Avagyan, executive director of ABMDR, the campaign enjoyed the full support of the Armenian Relief Cross of Lebanon (ARCL). Throughout the three-day initiative, ARCL chair Taline Koulbashian and other leaders of the organization facilitated several recruitments in Beirut, Aynjar, and elsewhere. Moreover, they helped raise public awareness of the ABMDR mission through various media outlets and made informative presentations at recruitment events.

"We are so very touched by the warm welcome we received from the Armenian-Lebanese community as a whole and the Armenian Relief Cross in particular," said Dr. Avagyan, who throughout the recruitments was accompanied by ABMDR staff members Naira Mkrtchyan and Gohar Malkhasyan.

On January 27 and 28, recruitments were held at the Araxi Boulghourjian Center in Bourdj Hammoud, the Homenetmen Aghpalian Club in Antelias, and two other districts with sizeable Armenian communities. The recruitment effort continued on January 29, with a major event held at the ARCL Clinic in the Armenian town of Aynjar.

All of the recruitments, which featured informative lectures by Dr.

Avagyan and ARCL personnel as well as ABMDR information boots, were attended by large numbers of supporters. The events resulted in a total of 262 recruits as potential bone marrow stem cell donors.

"My colleagues and I were delighted to promote the ABMDR cause and were overjoyed to see so many young people interested in being recruited," Mrs. Koulbashian said.

In addition to providing logistical support for the realization of the recruitment events, the ARCL leadership ensured that the ABMDR campaign would receive maximum media exposure.

On January 27 Dr. Avagyan gave interviews to the "Vana Dzayn" Armenian radio program as well as the OTV television station. Topics discussed by Dr. Avagyan in both interviews included life-threatening blood-related illnesses such as leukemia, the history and mission of ABMDR, and the vital importance of Diaspora Armenians joining the ranks of the registry as potential bone marrow donors. The recruitment campaign also received coverage by Aztag Daily.

Commenting on the success of the recruitments, Dr. Frieda Jordan, president of ABMDR, stated, "The activism of the Armenian-Lebanese community is truly inspiring. What Dr. Avagyan and his assistants witnessed in Lebanon is an outstanding spirit of volunteerism which we can all be proud of. With this regard, our special thanks go to Mrs.

Taline Koulbashian and all of her colleagues at ARCL, for their hard work and tremendous dedication to our shared mission."

About the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry: Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps 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 21,554 donors in 13 countries across three continents, identified 2,135 patients, found 1,753 potential matches, and facilitated 13 bone marrow transplants.

For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit abmdr.am




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