WATERTOWN, Mass.—Hundreds of Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) supporters were roaring with laughter over the weekend during a spring fundraising event featuring Los Angeles-based Armenian comedians Antic and Demq Show.
Established in 1999, the non-profit organization’s mission has been to save lives by finding a match for all Armenian and non-Armenian stem cell leukemia patients in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
“We have to help each other,” said recruitment and outreach co-chair Talin Abrimian during her formal remarks to a sold-out group on Saturday night at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church’s Keljik Hall. “When a patient is diagnosed with leukemia, only 25 percent of the time will they find a donor match within their family. That’s why this registry is so important, because 75 percent of the time, we need it to find a match.”
During outreach events, ABMDR volunteers take swabs from inside the cheeks of potential donors. Those samples are then sent to Armenia for tissue typing and then ultimately entered into a registry database.
To date in its 20th anniversary year, the volunteer-backed organization has reached over 30 thousand donors and has facilitated 32 successful transfers.
Backed by volunteers, the organization relies on the charitable support of community members, hundreds of whom attended Saturday evening’s event, which featured the entertaining skits of Demq Show and the hilarious musings of stand-up comedian Antic.
ABMDR New England is now preparing for its annual Walk of Life in September.