Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide

by Karelian Registry of unrelated donors of hematopoietic stem cells
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Add Marrow Donors: Eliminate Leukemia Worldwide
Karelian Registry (Petrozavodsk) on the WMDD Map
Karelian Registry (Petrozavodsk) on the WMDD Map

The Karelian Registry continues it’s the main activity: recruiting potential bone marrow donors. The fall recruiting campaign started on August 29th in Kostomuksha and Anadyr, and two more cities, Rostov-na-Donu and Sortavala,  joined it on September 8th and 9th respectively. In Petrozavodsk the recruiting campaign was timed to The World Donor day - September 16th , and was held within the Petrozavodsk festival “Dobrofest” (Good Deed). The third year in the row The World Donor day takes place under the motto: “Thank you, Donor!”

The Petrozavodsk recruiting events began on September 15th in the Youth City Center and continued on the next day in the Registry’s favorite spot – the club “Begemot”. September 17th , under the  “Dobrofest”, the Registry held also an information session about bone marrow donorship. The session took attention of many people and turned to be quite successful. In total, 55 new potential donors were recruited during this campaign.

Here is what donors said why they decided to join the Registry:

"I was just thinking that somewhere could be a person who is sick with leukemia, and that I exactly would be suitable. So, if I'm not in the lists, this person will never get his/her chance."

"For me it's a chance to save another life. I think the worst thing for parents is to realize that there is no other ways of treatment for their child any more. It is the end."

"I believe that to assist someone in the difficult situation is a normal desire and the need for any human. Everyone should help another in the form that suits a specific person. Someone mows the lawn in the neighbor’s backyard, someone donates bone marrow, someone donates money."

                                               Thank you, donors!

And this is not the end. The fall recruiting campaign continued on September 24th, on The World Day of Fighting Leukemia. On that day dozens of the Petrozavodsk State University students attended The Volunteer Donor Movement School. It means The Karelian Registry of Bone Marrow Donors has got many new  supporters, and all together we will continue our work.

As one of our donors said, “We CAN make the world a better and safer place.”  Together we can do anything!

I am a Donor
I am a Donor
Recruiting Campaign and Information Session 09.17
Recruiting Campaign and Information Session 09.17
Our Donors
Our Donors
Our Volunteers
Our Volunteers
Our New  Volunteers - students of PetrSU
Our New Volunteers - students of PetrSU
Fall 2017 Recruiting Campaign
Fall 2017 Recruiting Campaign


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                              June Recruiting Campaign and More

During the last two months the Karelian Registry continued its routine work – recruiting new bone marrow donors. In June we had the longest recruiting campaign in our history. It started on 12th  of  June and finished on July 1st. Petrozavodsk, Sortavala, Arkhangelsk and Rostov-on-don participated in the campaign. June 12th is the state holiday in Russia -  the Day of Russia. On that day the site worked within the charity marathon "heart to heart", organized by the Karelian regional Youth Center in honor of the holiday. It was the first time we carried out the recruitment of donors under the open sky. The campaign took place despite the cold wind and the rain - 12 residents of Petrozavodsk celebrated the Day of Russia with accession to the registry. Isn’t it a beautiful way to celebrate the Day of Russia making good deeds? During this campaign our database grew by 82 donors, and now it has 4047 people.  The next recruiting campaign will take place in the end of August/beginning of September.

In May and June we also had two important meetings with the partner organizations. In May the Registry participated in a seminar for small and medium Registries in Cologne (Germany). During the seminar, speakers from well-known large registries discussed issues related to the recruitment of potential donors: how to organize a campaign to attract new donors, how to communicate with donors and how to retain them, how to create a quality management system, donor base, etc.. The workshop was not only intense and very useful, but also inspirational and gave us a new perspective.

In June we also had a meeting with our old friend, the head of the St. Petersburg public organization "Children and parents against cancer" Katerina Kiseleva. She came to Petrozvodsk to support us on the start of our June's campaign. We've known each other for many years and have completed many projects in cooperation with the organization. NGO "Children and parents against cancer" is engaged in complex support of children with cancer, which includes medical treatment, psychological counseling and rehabilitation. 

Everything what we do is possible only thanks to our remarkable volunteers and donors who believe in our cause, but perhaps the main credit belongs to its founder and leader Dr. Yuriy Ioffe.

Dr. Ioffe is a very determined person. He is determined to fight leukemia, and he has put 20 years of his life into this fight. The Russian database of potential donor is about 70,000 people - only 0.05% of the population. To have the high probability of finding the donor, the database must be 4 million people. Yuriy Ioffe devoted 20 years of his life to growing the National base of bone marrow donors. The growth is slow because every step requires money: the recruitment of donors, blood analysis, shipping and transportation costs, membership in the world network, and so on. It is very difficult to attract money because the Registry is not looking to help a specific person -  it does systemic aid.  When people ask Dr. Ioffe if he really believes that the goal will  ever be reached (from 70 000 to at least 2 million donors), he answers that he doesn’t think about it. He simply does his work, he does what he knows is the right thing to do, "No matter what" or "despite everything", remember? No arguing, we have many problems, but we are still moving forward.”

Dr. Ioffe admits that the desire to quit has occurred a few times: lack of money, time, staff — all are stressful and drain your energies; however meetings and correspondence with cancer patients and their relatives make him continue. “At such moments, you put yourself in their place and you understand why you need this registry. You understand clearly that there is no other way than to just move forward,” says Ioffe.

“Donorship is a miracle, states Dr. Ioffe. “You (a person) can save somebody’s life with a minimal effort. You can save somebody from a different country, from the other hemisphere. Everything that you need is just your good will. The donor and patient may have different political beliefs, different religions, different social status, and much more, but they have the same genetic code. In the end, all these differences just don’t matter when we are talking about life and death. That's what brings people together!”

                                                Dear Friends,

We would like to let you know that GlobalGiving announced the Rewards Bonus Day which will be held from 9:00am to 11:59pm EDT on Wednesday, July 12th. On this day, GlobalGiving will have $110,000 available in matching funds and will match at 40% for donations up to $1,000per unique donor per organization.

New recurring donations up to $100 per donor per project on Bonus Day will get an additional 100% match on the initial donation as long as it remains active for three months. The recurring match offer will be good throughout the entire Bonus Day.

 Please go to

Karelian Registry of unrelated donors of hematopoietic stem cells .PROJECT #21423

There is not a fairy princess with a magic wand on our planet.  Only we, humans, are able to make miracles.  Hurry to make miracles!

Dr. Yuriy Ioffe
Dr. Yuriy Ioffe


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                                               Our dear friends!

Thanks to everyone who doesn't remain indifferent to the mission of our Registry!

Thanks to all our donors and donators for their courage, love for people and ongoing support!

In this report, we are glad to share with you results of our activities, our latest news and plans.

Remember, in the last report (February 2017) we told you about a boy from Argentina, for which we received a donation request? On March 15th we received good news: all the samples and documents have arrived in the independent laboratory in New-York, USA and additional exams confirmed that the donor of the Karelian Register and the Argentine boy has a 100% match! We hope the transplantation went well, and now everything will be good for this boy. Such news encourages us to work harder and makes us happy.  

 Another case, which has happened recently, shows how important the work is that we do. In March, one Karelian family tried to raise money for their 2-year son Miroslav, who was diagnosed with leukemia and needed the bone marrow transplantation.  Parents had to find 3 million rubles (around 50 thousand dollars) for the transplantation. Thanks to God and the kind people, the money was gathered and a compatible donor was found in Germany.  Imagine our surprise when the typing results from February campaign came back, three weeks after BMT,  and we found out that one of our new donors, who was included in the registry during this campaign, was fully compatible with the boy! How much easier and faster (not mentioning costs!) the aid would have come to the boy if we had got this donor earlier!

In February and April we carried out two big bone marrow donor recruiting campaigns that resulted in 304 new potential donors added to the Karelian Registry.

 The February action was timed to the International day of children with cancer. February 15th is the International day of children with cancer. It is an important day for us because children suffering with cancer of blood-forming organs (leukemia, malignant lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease) form in 70% of all children with cancer. These children often need bone marrow donors.

Thanks to our volunteer Anton Bolgov, a paper crane, the symbol of our recruiting campaigns, reached a city Anadyr located practically at the edge of the earth – in the far east of the North Siberia, on the coast of the Bering Sea.  Now 9 cities, small and big, participate in our recruiting campaigns.  In total, the project "+500" recruited 448 people, and now the Karelian Registry lists 3836 donors.

The next campaign is planned for June, and we hope that, with help of your donations, we will obtain enough funds to type at least 300 recruited donors and include them into the internationally indexed database of the Karelian Registry. Together we are able to give little boys and girls another chance for life.

                                               Together we can do more and anything!


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Elena Kolechyonok - a sunny girl
Elena Kolechyonok - a sunny girl

Our dear friends! Time flies very fast, and 2016 is now in the history books. We would like to present you a brief summary of our work in 2016 year and plans for 2017.

The year of 2016 was very busy, bright and rich in events and people. It was the year of our 15th anniversary and it will be something to remember and talk about.

It was a year of new bone marrow donor recruiting actions. For the first time in several years, these actions have become regular events in June, September, October, and November. Such cities as Petrozavodsk, Kostomuksha, St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, and Rostov-na-Donu participated in our recruiting campaigns. The Register has been growing! We have now 3705 potential donors –an increase of 682 over the previous year!!! 

It was a year of matches: five our donors matched with the patients!  Unfortunately, in three cases, our help was too late... And the latest match is still in process. One of our "September" donors happened to be fully compatible with a three year old boy from Argentina. The whole process, between finding a compatible donor and a transplantation, takes about two months. The Registry prepared and sent all the necessary documents and the samples with donated blood. Now we have to wait and beg the Argentine boy: "Please, live! Help is on your way!"

It was a year of victories, not only ours, but also associated with us. In 2016,  the Registry took part in the national Contest of non-profits “Co-participation”  and was awardedthe first prize in the nomination "Formula of good deeds". Students of "Potanin Foundation" won a grant for the project "500+", and this grant will help us to hold 2017 recruiting campaigns. Four actions have been already planned, and preparations are underway for the first one in the middle of February.

It was a year of new and, we hope, long-term partners and friends. In 2016, we signed a cooperation agreement with the Registry of Hematopoietic Cells Donors and a Public Cord Blood Bank in Samara. One of the main provisions of the agreement is providing information about our donors in search engine of the Samara's Registry, currently the most advanced in Russia. It allows us to enter the most complete information about the potential donor, making the search much easier and faster. Our Registry will provide practical assistance in the organization of the recruiting campaigns of potential donors. We hope the agreement will help the Samara's Registry and us to reach a new level of development.

And certainly, it was a year of our the most important people – our volunteers, our donors, and our sponsors. We won’t be able to work without you, our dear supporters. Today we want to introduce you Elena Kalechyonok, a petite girl, with a great heart and unique personality. She is a specialist of the Karelian Republic Centre of Youth, head of the Youth Public Movement "Avard Association" , our volunteer,  and a potential bone marrow donor.  "I love to help people, - Elena says, I don't know...My heart has been built this way. I cannot live only for myself. When people ask me why I do this (volunteering) - spend a lot of time and energy for people who I even don't know and most likely will never meet… I answer, - 'You also need it. Believe, your heart is eager to help to someone, even though you don't know this person. When you follow your heart and you know that you have just helped somebody, and even more - you have given somebody a second chance for life, it is is like the Sun is always with you. I mean, it doesn't matter what is going on in your life right now, if it is dark and cold outside  - there is always sunny in your heart.”

May the Sun be always with you!

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                                                 Dear Friends!

The goal of our work is to save lives. Without your help we won’t be able to operate and add new donors into the Registry.  Thank you for your support!  Together we can do anything!

We would like to inform you that one day only - Tuesday, November 29th  - Global Giving is offering a 50% match on donations made on #GivingTuesday  up to the first $1 million raised. This is the largest amount of matching funds GlobalGiving has ever had at one day!

The campaign begins at 00:00:01 EST (8:00 am Russian time) November 29th and ends at 23:59:59 EST on November 29th. Please make your donation as soon as possibleafter 00:00:01 EST via the link


The fall of 2016 was very busy with events. We conducted three bone marrow donor recruiting campaigns through out Petrozavodsk, Saint-Petersburg, Kostomuksha and Rostov-na-Donu.  Rostov-na-Donu city joined our movement in September. Its first campaign attracted many people and received a good feedback from the local student community. We hope that our collaboration will be fruitful and long. All three recruiting actions were very successful: they attracted thousands of people and resulted in recruiting 323 new potential donors.

The fall campaigns ran under hashtag Flight of Life. A few days before each campaign students from the Karelian State University made paper cranes and handed them out to people on the streets and in shopping centers. Students told people about upcoming events and invited them to participate. Here is what one of the volunteers, Mary, said,  “Many people were interested in this event and promised to pass cranes to others and to read more about the bone marrow donation. So I think we did a good job.” More than 1000 of the paper cranes were scattered around the city.

Why paper cranes?  Two years ago students heard the story of the Japanese girl Sadako, who fell ill with radiation sickness after the tragedy in Hiroshima. When she was in the hospital, her doctor told her a legend: a person who made 1000 paper cranes would be cured of any disease. Sadako didn’t finish her work -  she died.  Nowadays, people sick with leukemia have a good chance to survive if they find their genetic twin - a bone marrow donor. Students were inspired by the story and decided to continue the Sadako’s work – to make paper cranes before every campaign as a symbol of life, hope, and desire to help those who are in misfortune.

The September recruiting campaign was coincided with the International Day of Bone Morrow Donor that is celebrated on September 17th.  Millions of people around the world said at that day, “Thank you, Donor!”.

Here are a few facts about The Bone Morrow Donor Movement:

  • 100 institutions from 57 countries celebrated the World Day of Bone Marrow Donor in 2016;
  • 28 million donors are in the global registry;
  • More than 20,000 bone marrow transplants carried out worldwide in 2015;
  • 49% of all bone marrow transplants are international.

                                           Together we can do anything!


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Organization Information

Karelian Registry of unrelated donors of hematopoietic stem cells

Location: Petrozavodsk - Russia
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Yuri Ioffe
Petrozavodsk, Russia
$37,257 raised of $45,000 goal
399 donations
$7,743 to go
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