Walk for Life

Pilibos Armenian School students dash out in front of others during the Ninth Annual Armenian Bone Marrow Walk at Glendale Memorial Hospital on Saturday, May 3, 2014. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / May 6, 2014)

The ninth annual Walk of Life benefiting the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry signed up the most potential donors and raised the most funds in the event’s history.

More than 500 people spent part of Saturday walking around Glendale Memorial Hospital, an effort that raised $80,000 and resulted in 50 people joining the donor registry, said Dr. Frieda Jordan, the registry’s president.

“It was an excellent event,” Jordan said. “We had turnout from many schools, universities, organizations … it was great grass-roots support.”

Each individual who signed up gave a saliva sample via a mouth swab that will be tested to help determine if a potential donor’s eligibility in moving toward saving a life, Jordan said.

Like with all ethnic minorities, a bone-marrow match is more likely to come from within someone’s own ethnicity, she said.

The registry has signed up 26,000 people worldwide and bone marrow donations have helped save the lives of 20 people.

Donors in the Armenian registry also become part of a larger network in case matches are also found among other races in different parts of the world.

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Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.

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