Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry completes extraordinary recruitment drive in Lebanon

Campaign leads to broad community support

and heightened public awareness

Los Angeles, February 2, 2012 – During January 27-29, 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 Burj Hamud, 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.