2023 GvHD Symposium Series

Friday, October 13th, 2023

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Gregory A. Yanik, MD – Mott Children’s Hospital

Location: Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland Rockside

This will be a Live Event

Raising Funding For Blood Cancer & GvHD Research

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Click Here to visit the GvHD Alliance and learn more!


What Is ‘GvHD’?

During allogeneic stem cell transplantation, donor cells (“the graft”) may also attack the patient’s healthy tissues and organs (“the host”), which can impair the tissue or organ’s function or may cause it to fail altogether. This condition is called “graft-versus-host disease” or GVHD.

The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation logo

about us

Who We Are

The mission of the Meredith A. Cowden Foundation is to increase the number of leukemia survivors, to raise awareness of the blood cancers and help people living with the treatment of them, to improve the post-transplant quality of life for bone marrow transplant recipients, and to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was formed in 2007. We are headquartered in Akron, Ohio

Why We Are Important

Every year approximately 30,000 patients undergo a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Approximately 50% survive. There are currently 100,000 survivors in the US. Of the remaining survivors, approximately 75% are diagnosed with Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD).

GvHD is a complication of the transplant. It can be an acute or chronic condition that occurs when the new immune system (graft) created by the bone marrow transplant attacks the organs and tissues of the patient (host.) Sadly, it can be fatal if not controlled and currently there is no cure. It affects both adults and children.

The treatment for GvHD is a series of immunosuppressant drugs, which in and of themselves have significant side effects and do long-term damage to the patient’s body. For example, a very common side effect is cataracts (regardless of a patient’s age).

What We Do

Every year since 2010, the Foundation has sponsored the National GvHD Symposium. The Symposium Planning Committee, consisting of physicians from the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, UH Seidman Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Moffitt Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health recruits research doctors to make presentations to clinicians to educate them about the latest research and procedures to treat chronic GvHD. In addition, we invite speakers to make presentations to patients, their caregivers and families. These presentations are to provide advice and help in coping with the trials and tribulations of living with GvHD. The 2017 conference was held in Columbus, Ohio with over 200 people attending. The 2019 symposium was held in Cleveland, Ohio. Because of Covid-19, the 2021 GvHD Symposium will consist of a series of three virtual conferences on July 30, October 8, and January of 2022 (date to be determined).

In addition, we provide grants to organizations such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the National Bone Marrow Transplant LINK (nbmtLINK), the Blood and Marrow Transplant InfoNet (BMTInfoNet) and others. Prior to 2010, we provided funding for research to several major research hospitals.

Our main fundraiser is a gourmet wine dinner, which we have named “Six Courses for a Cure.” This event has been very successful and well received by our supporters. The 2018 fundraiser netted more than $35,000.

Our Events

GvHD Symposium and more!


Funding groundbreaking research to discover a cure for GvHD


When you donate to GvHD research, you’re making a lasting difference


The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. They fundraise, they advocate for life-saving change, and they’re committed to helping us achieve our mission.

We’d love for you to join them. For more information on how to volunteer, please contact us at Info@Cowdenfoundation.org

The GvHD Symposium

This unique one-day conference, will consist of two-tracks – one designed for physicians and other health care professionals and one for bone-marrow transplant (BMT) survivors, their families and their caregivers.

Cowden Craft Series

Join us for a fun and relaxed evening of craft beer, crafted cocktails, raffle prizes, and great company in support of the Meredith A. Cowden Foundation

Cowden Chasers

We are happy to announce that one of the Cleveland Clinic BMT oncologists has organized a Cowden Foundation team for the Cleveland Half-Marathon. Join the “Cowden Chasers”!

Give Hope & Donate Today

Help us connect people to the help they deserve. Your support is more than a donation, it is an investment in the lives of children and adults struggling with GvHD. Fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devasting disease. Every dollar matters.