The goal of the trust is to create an Armenian bone marrow donor
registry, with a central tissue typing laboratory in the Armenian capitol
of Yerevan and a network of recruitment centers around the world. The
registry would be linked to other international registries.
But the trust hasn't raised nearly enough money to open a center,
which will cost an estimated $411,800 to open and nearly $250,000 a year
to maintain. Jordan said the organization's funds amount to only about
"Knowing that we can help these kids and knowing that we're not quick
enough to implement this project drives me crazy," Jordan said.
With its sizable Armenian population, Glendale has become a target
area for the project.
Jordan said many contributions to the trust have come from city
residents. She has also contacted several Armenian groups in the area for
"I am approaching different organizations in the hope that they would
come forward and help in this effort," she said. "If they come forward in
Glendale, they will also attract donors."
A FAMILIAR LOSS
Sona Armenian, a member of the trust's board of trustees, understands
the importance of finding compatible bone marrow donors.
The Maryland woman watched her daughter, Areen, battle leukemia for
Though Areen lived to be only 15, Armenian credits her son, Saro, for
extending his sister's life by twice donating bone marrow to her.
"I suppose I was lucky," Armenian said. "It was a such a beautiful
thing to have her around."
When Avagyan approached Armenian about joining the project, she was
compelled to join the effort to help others find bone marrow donors.
"I know, as a parent, when it strike you...how important this
becomes," she said. "If it saves only one life...it's going to be 100%
HOW TO HELP
* WHAT: Armenian Bone Marrow Registry Charitable Trust.
* INFO: The trust was created in 1999 to help find bone marrow donors
for Armenians with leukemia and other blood-related diseases. Due to
their unique genetic makeup, Armenians often have a hard time finding
* DONATIONS: Checks should be made out to the Armenian Bone Marrow
Project and sent to the project at 347 W. Stocker St., #208, Glendale,
* CONTACT: For more information, e-mails can be sent to: