Yerevan resident donates life-saving bone marrow stem cells to patient in France

Facilitated by ABMDR, the cell-harvesting procedure is the 38th in the history of the organization

From left: Dr. Sevak Avagyan, the special courier who hand-delivered the donated bone marrow stem cells to France to help save the life of an Armenian patient, and Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan. (Photo courtesy of ABMDR)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — On January 17, a Yerevan resident donated bone marrow stem cells to help save the life of an ethnic-Armenian patient who lives in France. 

The harvesting of the donor’s bone marrow stem cells, performed in the Armenian capital, was facilitated by the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), with the intention of using them for an urgent transplant that could potentially save the patient’s life. 

The painless, non-invasive harvesting was the 38th such procedure facilitated by ABMDR, and the first in the history of the organization to benefit an Armenian patient living in France. The donor wished to remain anonymous.  

Present at the harvesting procedure were ABMDR executive director Dr. Sevak Avagyan and ABMDR medical director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan, among other lab-staff members. As soon as the harvesting was completed, the donated cells were flown to France with the help of a special courier. 

“We are extremely grateful to our donor,” said ABMDR president Dr. Frieda Jordan, “Once the donor was identified as a perfect match, he stepped forward without a moment’s hesitation and went on to donate his bone marrow stem cells. This process — of a registered donor being identified as a match and immediately donating bone marrow stem cells to help save someone’s life — is the very essence of our mission.” 

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 38 bone marrow transplants.

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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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