- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) joins five founding organizations in their mission to provide support and bring hope to people living with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
- Inaugural Patient Advocacy Achievement award will recognize those who empower graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) patients and caregivers
Rye Brook, New York, September 12, 2023 – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has joined the GVHD Alliance, a consortium of leading transplant organizations dedicated to improving access to resources and providing support for people living with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and the GVHD community. The Alliance is also announcing the inaugural Meredith A. Cowden Patient Advocacy Achievement Award, honoring a member of the GVHD community who is making a profound difference in the lives of GVHD patients.
GVHD is a rare disease that commonly impacts allogeneic blood and marrow transplant recipients, meaning the cells came from a donor. In GVHD, donor cells – the graft – attack a patient's – the host's – organs and/or tissues.i It is an isolating and debilitating condition that creates numerous daily challenges for patients.
LLS joins founding organizations American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT), National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match, Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network (BMT InfoNet), Meredith A. Cowden Foundation, and National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLINK). The GVHD Alliance is supported by Sanofi.
“The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is thrilled to be part of this exciting journey with the GVHD Alliance and applauds the work this group has done for patients in such a short period of time,” said Karen DeMairo, LLS Vice President, Education, Support & Integration. “We are eager to contribute our passion and expertise to its continued success.”
The Meredith A. Cowden Patient Advocacy Achievement Award will be presented on October 13, 2023, during the Meredith A. Cowden Foundation’s GVHD Symposium in Independence, Ohio. Nominees are individuals who are working to provide education and raise awareness of GVHD, address unmet needs related to GVHD patient quality of life, collaborate with other members of the GVHD community, empower the patient and caregiver population through advocacy and reach members of the GVHD community who are underserved, marginalized, underrepresented and underreported.
“It is a tremendous honor to have an award named after me. I am humbled to be recognized in such a meaningful way,” said Meredith Cowden of the Meredith A. Cowden Foundation. “This award is a testament to the collective efforts of those who have supported and inspired me throughout my GVHD journey.”
Learn more about GVHD and the GVHD Alliance on the Alliance website, www.GVHDAlliance.org.
About Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD)1
Graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, is a complication that can happen after an allogeneic blood and marrow transplant, meaning the cells came from a donor. In GVHD, donor cells (the graft) attack the patient's (the host's) organs and/or tissues. GVHD is characterized as acute GVHD (aGVHD) or chronic GVHD (cGVHD); allogeneic blood and marrow transplant recipients can develop one, both, or neither form of GVHD.
About the GVHD Alliance
The GVHD Alliance is empowering voices in the GVHD community to increase awareness and help improve the lives of people living with GVHD. The GVHD Alliance has developed a unified platform that facilitates a nurturing community for people living with GVHD, connecting resources, education, and support. Current GVHD Alliance member organizations include: American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT), National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match, Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network (BMT InfoNet), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), Meredith A. Cowden Foundation and National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLINK).
About the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT)
The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular TherapyTM is an international professional membership association of more than 3,600 physicians, investigators, and other health care professionals from more than 45 countries. ASTCT’s mission is dedicated to improving the application and success of blood and marrow transplantation and related cellular therapies. We strive to be the leading organization promoting research, education, and clinical practice in the field. For more information, visit http://www.astct.org.
About National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®
The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® is the leading global partner working to save lives through cellular therapy. With 35 years of experience managing the most diverse registry of potential unrelated blood stem cell donors and cord blood units in the world, NMDP/Be The Match is a proven partner in providing cures to patients with life-threatening blood and marrow cancers and diseases. Through their global network, they connect centers and patients to their best cell therapy option—from blood stem cell transplant to a next-generation therapy—and collaborate with cell and gene therapy companies to support therapy development and delivery through Be The Match BioTherapies®. NMDP/Be The Match is a tireless advocate for the cell therapy community, working with hematologists/oncologists to remove barriers to consultation and treatment, and supporting patients through no-cost programs to eliminate non-medical obstacles to cell therapy. In addition, they are a global leader in research through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®)—a collaboration with Medical College of Wisconsin, investing in and managing research studies that improve patient outcomes and advance the future of care.
About Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network (BMT InfoNet)
Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network (BMT InfoNet) is a leading advocacy organization for bone marrow, stem cell and cord blood transplant recipients. Founded in 1990, BMT InfoNet has pioneered a vast array of services to help transplant patients make critical decisions throughout their transplant journey. For more information, visit http://www.bmtinfonet.org.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the global leader in the fight against blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has regions throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit http://www.lls.org/. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
For additional information visit lls.org/lls-newsnetwork. Follow LLS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
About Meredith A. Cowden Foundation
The mission of the Meredith A. Cowden Foundation is to increase the number of blood and marrow transplant survivors, to raise awareness of transplant complications and late effects, and to reduce their impact. The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation is committed to: Providing funding for research to prevent, treat and cure Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD); educating physicians, researchers, patients, and the general public concerning GVHD and late effects of transplants, their prevention, treatment and cure; providing general information concerning the blood cancers and their treatment, with a special emphasis on the treatment of leukemia and bone marrow and stem cell transplantation; and providing resources to support programs designed to enhance the quality of life of patients and their families during treatment. For over a decade, the Foundation has hosted a unique conference where physicians, mid-level medical personnel, patients, and their caregivers and family come together to receive the best current information concerning the treatment of GVHD and late effects. For more information, visit http://www.cowdenfoundation.org.
About National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLINK)
Established in 1992, the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLINK) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving individuals before, during, and after a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Myra Jacobs founded the nbmtLINK and its mission 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. For more information, visit http://www.nbmtlink.org.
- Justiz Vaillant AA, Modi P, Mohammadi O. Graft versus host disease. StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Updated October 10, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538235. Accessed May 23, 2023.
NMDP/Be the Match
Meredith A. Cowden Foundation