Shahrzad Jabbarian captured the hearts and minds of the Persian-Canadian community with her tireless work to raise awareness about the need for stem cell donors.

Shahrzad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2012. Her vibrancy, passion, and perseverance moved her to share her own search for a stem cell donor, and the importance of stem cell, blood, and cord blood donation, with the Persian community.

In partnership with her fiancé, Arash Mo, she founded Healthy Marrow, a non-profit organization that aims to educate the Persian community about the need for optimal stem cell donors.

Sadly, Shahrzad was unable to receive a stem cell transplant before succumbing to her illness in December 2013. To continue her incredible legacy, Arash now heads up Healthy Marrow.

“Even over the last several months while she was in hospital, Shahrzad continued her work in spreading the word about stem cell donation, blood donation, and the building of the national public cord blood bank,” says Arash. “Her social media presence is huge in the community. More than 50,000 people continue to follow her story to help others like her.”

Today, Arash continues to work with Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network to help organize swab events and awareness campaigns. He also oversees Shahrzad’s Facebook page, where followers and supporters are inspired to educate others about the need for more donors.

“Shahrzad made sure that anyone else in a similar situation today or many years from now has a better chance of finding their match and beating their illness,” stresses Arash. “I want to continue her legacy and her passion for saving lives.”

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