New England Walk Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Walk of Life? The Walk of Life is a fundraising and awareness-raising event in support of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) whose mission is to save lives. By joining us in this walkathon, you will help someone with leukemia—you will give them hope, possibly a second chance in life. What better reward than knowing you were instrumental in saving someone’s life! All of our participants are heroes, no matter their age.
ABMDR’s Walk of Life is meant to:
- Reach and educate the Armenian public about leukemia and other blood diseases,
- Recruit stem cell donors to add to its internationally recognized registry,
- Raise funds to tissue type these donors for future matches with patients.
The actual walk takes place in the US, but people can join as “Virtual Walkers” from anywhere in the world (see “Virtual Walkers” for details)
- What is ABMDR? ABMDR is a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives by recruiting and providing matched unrelated donors for bone marrow or stem cell transplantation to all Armenian and non-Armenian patients worldwide who are suffering from leukemia and other life-threatening blood related illnesses.
Only 25% of patients afflicted with leukemia or other life-threatening blood disorders find suitable matched donors within their families. The other 75% of patients’ lives depend on finding a perfectly matched unrelated donor.
The unique genetic make-up of Armenians makes it nearly impossible for ethnic Armenians to find suitable matches among the existing international registries. ABMDR plays a crucial role in saving these lives by increasing the size of its registry, tissue typing its donors, identifying matched donors and facilitating bone marrow stem cell transplants for ethnic Armenians in need of one. Our Goals are:
- Create and maintain the registry and data bank of information of Armenian donors
- Increase the size of the registry
- Coordinate and process patient search requests and provide marrow or stem cell matching services for potential bone marrow transplant recipients
- Raise funds to type all donor samples
- Educate Armenian families worldwide
- Expand into new countries with sizable Armenian communities
- Why Walk? Every year thousands of people around the world lose their lives to leukemia and other blood-disorders requiring bone marrow transplant. Every 4 minutes someone in the US dies of Leukemia. Leukemia accounts for one third of all childhood cancers. In Armenia, leukemia accounts for 40% of all childhood diseases. The unique genetic makeup of Armenians makes it virtually impossible for them to find a match among international donor registries. It is much more likely for an Armenian to find a match among other ethnic Armenians, regardless of their birth place. Thus, lives of Armenian patients are most likely to be saved by other Armenians. When you walk, you help raise funds for ABMDR to continue its work. You also raise awareness of leukemia and educate the public. In addition to doing a great deed for someone else, you get to enjoy the benefits of exercising.
- How are the funds used? ABMDR is run by unpaid volunteers. The funds raised at Walk of Life are used to tissue type donor samples, educate the public, facilitate bone marrow stem cell transplants for patients worldwide, expand into new countries with Armenian communities, and increase the size of the registry by recruiting donors worldwide.
- How can I find more details about the New England Walkathon in Watertown? See Walk Information.
- How do I register? Click on New England Walk of Life site, Choose “Register Now”. You can also click here to start your registration process.
- I am having trouble with my online registration. How can I get help? If you have any problems registering, please contact us at 617-331-0426.
- What is a Virtual Walker? The virtual walker option is for people who cannot attend the walk personally. If you or someone you know are inspired by the Walk of Life but cannot participate in the actual walk due to location, work, or other reasons, you can sign up as a virtual walker and help raise funds for ABMDR similar to an actual walker.
- Is my registration fee tax-deductible? Registration fees are not tax-deductible, and are not included in individual participant fundraising totals. Registration fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable. Sponsorships and donations ARE tax deductible (see below).
- What do I do after I register? Once you have registered, you can begin fundraising by setting a fundraising goal for yourself and reaching out to your friends and family for contributions to your walk. You can also encourage people to register walk with you. Small donations from many people add up quickly and are a great support for ABMDR. Remember all the funds are used for the process of finding matches for our patients.
- Do children need to register in order to attend? Yes all participants must be registered.
- Is there a minimum fundraising requirement? No, there is no fundraising minimum requirement to participate in the Walk. However, we encourage all participants to try to raise at least $100.00 goal.
- Are donations tax-deductible? Yes, donations and sponsorships are tax-deductible. However, please note that the registration fees are similar to buying tickets to take part in an event, and as such, they are not tax deductible.
- How can I make an online donation? Please click on the “Donate” link. From this link you can choose to donate directly to ABMDR, or to “support an individual” by contributing on their fundraising page.
- Do you accept donations by check? Yes.
- Do you accept matching gift? Yes, many employers have matching gift programs. These companies/employers match the donations made by their employees to non-profit organizations such as ABMDR. Please ask your company/employer if they will be able to match donations made by you.
- How will people find me? When you email your friends and family, please give them the link to Walk of life. From the home page, they can go to “Sponsor Participant” link and type your name.
- Can I upload my photo to my individual walk Page? Yes, you can
- What is fundraising goal? This is the amount that you want to raise in support of Walk of Life.
- What if I do not reach our original fundraising goal? The fundraising goal is just a guideline to help you solicit sponsors for your walk and reach your goal. You are not obligated to match the goal 100%.
- Are we allowed to change the fundraising goal later on? Yes. The fundraising goal for the individual or the team may be updated up or down at any time.
- Can I come to the ABMDR at Faire on the Square in Watertown even if I am not walking? Yes, we encourage the community to come support and join us celebrate our walk, and cheer their family members, friends, and colleagues as they finish their walk.
- How can I volunteer? To volunteer please contact Tatoul Badalian 617-331-0426 or email NE@abmdr.am
- Can I register on event day? Yes. You can register on-site on the day of the walkathon. The online registration closes at 3:00 PM the day before the walkathon..
- Where do I park?Free parking is available at St. James Armenian Church in 3 areas, the side lot on School Street, the lot across the street from the Church, or Street Parking directly in front of the hall.
- How do I get my Walk of Life T-shirt? You will pick up your T-shirt on the day of event. (First come, first serve-basis)
- Will there be refreshments and food at the event? There is ample food and entertainment at the Faire on the Square, where the walkathon ends. We will provide water to the participants at the start and end of the walk.
- Will there be restrooms available? Yes, there will be restrooms at the Faire on the Square.