The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation

Save The Date

2024 GVHD Symposium

September 27, 2024 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Keynote Speaker: Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, FACLM

What We Do

Raising Funding For Blood Cancer & GVHD Research

The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was started by Gerald and Marti Cowden in 2007, six years after their daughter, Meredith, received a Bone Marrow Transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), and subsequently developed Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD). The foundation was created to increase education and support for patients, as well as to promote research and novel treatments for GVHD.


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

What is Graft Vs. Host Disease?

Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) is a common complication after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant from another person. Immune cells (white blood cells) in the donated marrow or stem cells (the graft) recognize the recipient (the host) as “foreign.” The transplanted immune cells then attack the host’s cells. GVHD presents itself in many ways — some acute, some chronic, sadly sometimes fatal. An estimated 50 percent of all leukemia and other blood cancer patients contract GvHD following their transplant. A prominent physician once stated that with a Bone Marrow Transplant, a patient trades one disease that will kill you (leukemia) for another disease that might kill you (GVHD).


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

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”!

Latest News

Partners, Patients


Ready for a mind-blowing statistic? Just one inch of our skin contains almost 20 million cells! That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? Multiply that to cover an entire body and we each have trillions of skin cells. When GVHD attacks these cells, uncomfortable symptoms...

Read More

Partners, Patients


When GVHD affects the lungs, inflammation and scarring of the airways can occur. In its early stages people don’t always notice symptoms — so it’s important to talk to your doctor about proactive pulmonary function testing (PFT) during the first several years after...

Read More

Partners, Patients

Ocular GVHD

If you are suffering from eye problems after bone marrow transplant — things like dryness, itching, redness, and pain — you might have ocular GVHD. When you receive someone else’s stem cells during a bone or blood marrow transplant, the donor’s cells might...

Read More

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.