Raising funding for blood cancer and GvHD research

Peggy Burkhard, nbmtlink

Peggy Burkhard National Bone Marrow Transplant Link

Peggy Burkhard is the Executive Director of the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLINK), an independent non-profit organization, founded in 1992. Peggy is a Mass Communications graduate of St. Bonaventure University. Peggy began her career in New York City in the publishing business before moving to Michigan and working for several organizations and non-profits as a public relations and marketing professional. Peggy had worked the last fifteen years promoting organ, tissue and eye donation with the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan. Most recently, for the past two years, Peggy has served as the Executive Director for the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link.

The mission of the nbmtLINK is to help patients, caregivers, and families cope with the social and emotional challenges of bone marrow/stem cell transplant from diagnosis through survivorship by providing vital information and personalized support services.

Created in 1992, the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link was formed after Founder Myra Jacobs learned of a Detroit area mother named Sandy Weiss. Sandy needed a life-saving  bone marrow transplant in Seattle, making it necessary to leave her two-year old daughter and family, never knowing if she’d see them again. This woman’s situation motivated Myra to create a way to bring emotional support, help and hope to those sick with cancer.

Now in its 25th year, the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link continues to provide educational, psychosocial and personalized support to people facing this daunting medical journey.

The nbmtLINK provides a number of services and resources designed to meet the needs of bone marrow/stem cell transplant patients, survivors, caregivers, and health professionals around the globe. Various services include several original publications written in easy-to-understand language, a Peer Support On Call program, Telephone Education/Support groups, a popular Celebrating Second Birthdays program, webcasts/podcasts, webinars and an original Emmy-award winning documentary, The New Normal.

The nbmtLINK has formed alliances with many of the major transplant centers in the U.S. These LINK partnerships provide an avenue of communication between our organization and the hospitals. Additionally, the LINK collaborates with other major cancer-related organizations such as the Meredith A. Cowden Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Be the Match, DKMS and the National Institutes of Health. The LINK takes part in several national transplant-related conferences and sponsors educational forums such as the incredible GVHD conference organized by the Cowdens each year.

Myra Jacobs retired in 2015, after starting the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link 23 years ago. This year we celebrate 25 years of linking and caring for patients and their families. It is truly my honor to carry on this legacy.

Today, Sandy’s daughter, Myra’s inspiration for starting the LINK, only  two-years old when her mom had her life-saving transplant, is now married with a young child of her own. We like to think the support of organizations such as the nbmtLINK and the Meredith Cowden Foundation helped in a small yet mighty way to help the Weiss family heal and thrive post transplant.