Sunday, October 2, 2022
St. Thomas News & Information
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Chaldeans Being Offered $100,000 for Rare Blood Vaccine
By Sue Garmo :: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 :: 109745 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

California, USA – Chaldean immigrant receives special attention from the U.S. Center for Disease control (CDC) for his blood.  “It is like the movie Arachnophobia where a spider is brought to the U.S., spreads, and creates havoc,” says Dr. Jason Edwin III, Director of Entomology at the CDC.  “We were able to find an Iraqi who has something in his blood that is immune to the spider’s venom and is assisting in treating the infectious bite site of the spider.”

David Abbas of Tel’Kepe, Iraq seems to be immune to the venom of the infamous “Camel Spider” which is identified as the cause of a state-wide outbreak in Nevada.  Abbas was given $100,000 after a sample of his blood proved to contain the necessary antibodies.  The CDC is now asking Chaldeans in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Michigan to be tested.  Those with the rare blood immunity will be offered a $100,000 in order for the CDC to have enough vaccine to stop the epidemic from spreading outside of Nevada.  

Supposedly a U.S. Marine returned from the dessert smuggling Camel Spider eggs.  Upon return to California, the Marine attempted to sell the eggs to a pet store in Vegas.  Failing to make the sale the Marine dumped thousands of the eggs into a dumpster where the dessert climate and humid trash and food scraps were key conditions for the eggs to hatch.  Thousands of the spiders quickly spread to nearby dumpsters and began to breed.  The spiders were spread by the waste management companies who inadvertently scattered the spiders and eggs to dumpsters throughout the city. 

“Landfills began noticing dead birds and rodents and when a waste worker was discovered dead with a huge infection on the back of the neck, local police were called.  After two more workers turned up dead, without any bites the homicide investigation turned to a federal probe that brought in the FBI and CDC,” says FBI agent Ellie Braum of the Nevada federal field office. 

CDC officials confirm that after the initial bite the infection begins to grow and mutates to an airborne virus.  Those in close proximity of the infected person are vulnerable to the virus.   Those bitten are hit with a large dose and begin to show symptoms of nerve damage in six to twelve hours.  Those infected by the airborne virus show nerve damage in twelve to twenty-four hours. 

After capturing one of the spiders, CDC insect expert Dr. Jason Edwin III was contacted.  Dr. Edwin was able to instantaneously identify the rare spider and pointed officials to Middle Eastern blood samples that were known to be immune to the dessert dwelling the spider. Officials immediately reached out to few mosques and churches inquiring about the spider.  A Chaldean church deacon, Dawood Abbas overheard the explanation to clergy.  The deacon commented that his son would often get bitten by the spiders in Iraq, but did not show any symptoms they described. 

Officials took blood samples of the Deacon’s son to the CDC.  Mixing the blood and spider venom under a microscope examiners discovered that the virus was attacked by a rare blood cell.  Working to create a vaccine the Abbas family was offered $100,000 for their blood.  However the CDC needed more and has extended the offer to any Chaldean with the similar blood cell. 

Chaldeans interested in being tested can contact their local Red Cross office.  The testing is given high priority and the Red Cross offices have been notified in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Michigan by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.  Chaldeans are asked to identify themselves as Chaldeans wishing to be tested for the Camel Spider vaccine. 

Alternatively, Chaldeans can e-mail their contact information and the nearest Red Cross testing center will be notified of your interest to be tested for the vaccine.  A Red Cross Chaldean translator will then contact you to schedule the testing. 

Any Chaldean shown to have the correct blood cell will receive their $100,000 check from the CDC after donating a pint of blood.  

For more information please contact

Sue Garmo is known as the office prankster at  Although the journalist covers community events she remains perhaps one of the best community pranksters.  The story above is another of Ms. Garmo's April Fools jokes.  Don't feel bad if you fell for the joke.  Sue was last seen at lunch making fake lottery tickets with the winning numbers to give as gifts to friends and family - just think how they are gonna fee!

St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  

Rev. Frank Kalabat

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.


Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.