GLENDALE–More than 800 people rallied together on Saturday, June 9 for the Second Annual “Walk of Life” 5k/10k Walkathon at the Glendale High School Moyse Stadium to support the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry in its critical life-saving mission. In addition, more than 100 registered to become donors of bone marrow stem cells. The walkathon was organized to raise public awareness of the role played by the ABMDR, to expand the existing database of volunteer bone marrow stem cell donors, and raise funds to cover tissue-typing expenses.
The event began with a prayer led by Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Rev. Vazken Atmajian, representing Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. Dr. Frieda Jordan, president of the ABMDR welcomed the crowd with a brief message: “We are delighted with the overwhelming participation of the community in this, our second annual %u218Walk of Life’ walkathon”, she said. “Each one of you carries a torch. You’re all beacons of hope, hope to all those waiting for a match, waiting for their chance to live, waiting for their chance to walk. Thanks for coming. Let’s get going. We have miles to walk. We have work to do. We have lives to save.”
Alice Petrossian, representing Glendale Unified School District cut the start ribbon, and led the participants to walk or run their 5 or 10 K in the stadium, while others gathered at the recruitment booth to register as bone marrow stem cell donors. Many walked in teams to support cancer survivors and patients, or in memory of cancer victims. They walked for Arlene and Natalie, they walked for Lar and Patrick, and they walked for Biurat. They walked to celebrate the survivors, to support the patients, to remember and honor the victims.
At the conclusion of the walk, Taleen Khatchadourian, Chairperson of the walkathon committee, thanked both Glendale Police and Fire Departmen’s and the participants for their support, and stressed the crucial role of the sponsors and organizations “whose backing and support made this a resounding success, and greatly enhanced our ability to continue our life-saving mission.” She recognized the major sponsorship of Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, as well as the sponsorships of St Joseph Hospital, Cal National Bank, City of Glendale Water and Power, Closet World, Design By Naz Exclusive Jewelry, Eric Garcetti, President LA City Council (District 13), Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Horizon 24 Hour Armenian TV, Next Day Color Printing, and Print On All Promotional Products, Nexus lab and SideBar. She also recognized the endorsement of Glendale Unified School District, and the participation of many organizations and groups including the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen, Artists for Kids, Armenian American Nurses Association, Armenian Youth Association of California, Children’s Hospital, CSUN ASA, Glendale Sunrise Rotary, Holy Martyrs Teachers, Merdinian School, Nor Serount, Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, So Cal Gas, Armenian Moms & Daughters, and Armenian Autism Outreach Project.
VIPs present who took to the stage were Congressman Adam Schiff who remarked on “AMBDR’s exemplary work in raising awareness in the Armenian community about joining bone marrow registries” and State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, who congratulated the ABMDR for its “critical work that has a direct impact on the lives of so many individuals”. Also present were Glendale City Council Member Frank Quintero and Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian. Artists for Kids and Elon presented Dr. Jordan with a check of $5,000, proceeds from the June 1 concert by Elon given to benefit the ABMDR.
The event ended with a lively performance by the very popular Nersig Ispiryan, whose upbeat songs captured and reflected the energy of the day, and instantly transformed those present from tired walkers into graceful dancers.
The Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry thanks all participants and encourages all Armenia’s to call and join the registry with the hope of saving another life. The registration process is very simple and non-intrusive and only takes a few minutes. ABMDR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and welcomes donations of any size which are tax-deductible. For further information, please call 323-663-3609 or visit www.abmdr.am.