Region

Bone Marrow Donation -- The Gift of Life, May 16th

Irene Katrandjian, a 52-year-old mother in New Jersey who is suffering from Non-Hodgkins Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma, is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant with no matching donors at this time.

There will be a registration for Irene at a bone marrow drive this Sunday, May 16 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at St. Mary's Armenian Church, 200 W. Mount Pleasant Ave., Livingston, N.J.

There will be also a bone marrow donor screening on Sunday, May 30 at St. Thomas Armenian Church, 174 Essex Drive, Tenafly, N.J., and another on Sunday, June 6 at St. Leon Armenian Church, 12-61 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, N.J. For further information about these and future drives, call The HLA Registry at 800-336-3363.

For many would-be donors, bone marrow transplants have had a long reputation of being painful and unpleasant procedures for both the donor and the recipient, but that is no longer the case. Thanks to huge strides in medical science, becoming a donor is now virtually as easy as getting a saliva test and giving blood.

On bone marrow transplants...

Today, there has never been a time of more hope for hundreds of thousands of children and adults suffering from many types of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood-related cancers and other diseases each year around the world. Bone marrow transplants are now saving more and more lives through a relatively simple procedure that is only successful when using bone marrow tissue from a matching donor.

Unfortunately, for patients from minority backgrounds such as Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, and certain Eastern Europeans, Asians and other ethnic groups, finding a matching bone marrow donor can become extremely difficult, if not next to impossible. In fact each year, many patients die while waiting for a donor that is never found. The reason? Simply put, there is a shortage of bone marrow donors especially among ethnic minorities. This, combined with a lack of education within the general public, has created a real life-threatening situation for many.

To be successful, the level of match for bone marrow transplants must be closer than for heart, liver and other organ transplants. Since the unique characteristics of an individual's marrow are inherited, it would be assumed that someone from the immediate family would be an ideal donor. However, only 30 percent of patients have a family member, generally a sibling, who is suitably matched and qualified to donate marrow.

That's where organizations come in such as the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry (NBMDR) and many others. These organizations have made it their mission to educate as well as seek out persons of the same racial and ethnic background of the patient who will have a greater chance of exhibiting matching human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). HLAs are proteins found on the surface of white blood cells and other tissues that are used to match donor with patient.

For the past 10 years, one minority organization, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMD) along with its many tireless and dedicated volunteers and financial supporters, has been leading a global grass-roots effort to unite and educate Armenians in helping save many of their brethren's lives throughout the world. In just this year alone, ABMD has recruited nearly 2,000 donors throughout the world and continues to actively recruit more donors in unprecedented numbers. Nearly half of those donors came from the Country of Armenia and many others from North America, as well as Germany and Iran.

In addition, the American Armenian Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO), in cooperation with the Armenian Medical International Committee (AMIC) from Armenia, is sponsoring bone marrow drives at Armenian churches throughout the United States this year and every two years thereafter. These ground-breaking efforts along with dedicated health professionals and volunteers from around the world have a set a test model for other minorities to follow to help raise awareness of the unique health challenges their communities face.

But there is much more work to be done. Sadly, there are currently nine patients in the U.S. of Armenian heritage, including Charlotte Conybear, a four-year-old girl from Philadelphia, who is suffering from Aplastic Anemia. She is currently receiving transfusions and needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, but there are no matches for her among her family or on any from the national or global bone marrow registries.

Organizations such as the AAHPO (www.AAHPO.org) support health professionals in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area with its mission of improving healthcare awareness and education. It only takes a moment to donate, but a lifetime to save.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

How Do I Decide Which College to Attend?

Now that college acceptances are rolling in, how do I decide which to attend?

Your hard work in high school has paid off. You took your SAT/ACT exams, got the best grades you could, and filled out as many applications as you needed to. Acceptance letters are starting to come in and you need to make a decision on where you will go in the fall. It's hard to decide!! Here are some tips and ...

Paterson Firefighter Opens Up About Struggles, Urges Others not to Suffer in Silence

February 8, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Not a week goes by when a tale of heroism and bravery on the part of firefighters is not told. For them, running into a burning building is as natural as running out of one is for the rest of us.

That became apparent again on Monday when members of the Paterson Fire Department responded to a fire at 268 Main Street, which led to the eventual total collapse of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8b56ef1b9860e2829bb1_teenagers_sitting_home-page-wlogo-750-500px

Wed, February 21, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning Presents ...

Education

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Free CASA Essex Volunteer Information Session

Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_b9dfd7fd9ec06f34f8cd_coriphoto

Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

Lobby - Office Building, Livingston

Gun Violence Prevention & Congressional Candidates

Other

Livingston Public Library Prepares for NJ Makers Day

February 12, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Public Library will host its third annual Makers Day on Saturday, March 10. Last year, 350 people attended Livingston Library’s Makers Day and enjoyed a variety of interactive activities ranging from sewing and paper crafts to robotics and circuitry.

Makers Day is a statewide initiative designed to celebrate, promote and introduce ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.

 

That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?

 

In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...