Our Board Members

Glanzmann’s Research Foundation would not be where it is today without our Board, which comprises individuals from across the U.S. who have been affected by GT in one way or another. Get to know these passionate people below!

Taylor Anne Burtz
President, Chairperson
My mom is Helen Smith, the founder of the Glanzmann’s Research Foundation. She founded the GRF when I was 11 years old and I grew up completely immersed in all things GRF. When she passed it was a no brainer that my sister, Julia, and I would take over and make sure that the Foundation’s work would continue. The Glanzmann’s community is my family and I am honored for my small role in making a difference.
Julia Smith
Assistant Vice President
Julia has been the face of the Glanzmann’s Research Foundation since being founded in 2001 by her mother, Helen Smith. She has stepped into the role of co-founder along with her sister, Taylor Burtz, and is acting Assistant Vice President while she finishes up college.
Peter Zdziarski
Vice President
I was one of the first diagnosed GT patients in Massachusetts and the first that my hematologist had ever diagnosed. I went through my childhood and adolescence believing I would never meet others who had GT until attending my first meet up that Helen Smith put on. As I grew up and noticed the power that simply connecting with others within our community could do, I could not resist the want and pull to help in every way I could. Nothing means more to me than meeting a younger GT patient for the first time and seeing that light in their eye that reads "I'm not alone after all?!"
Sherry Crutchfield
Board Director
For the first 20 years of my life I was told I had Von Willebrand's disease but after not responding to the standard treatments my Hematologist arranged for me to be seen at the CDC in Atlanta. I was diagnosed with Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia by the team there but at the time there wasn't very much information available about the disorder. Over the years I was able to learn a little more about it through information shared by my Hematologist but it was the CureGT web site founded by Helen Smith that allowed me to learn so much more about GT than I ever would have without it. When we attended a fundraiser in Augusta I was able for the first time in my life to meet others like me. It was a great feeling and the GT community became my family. I learned so much about GT and medications I had never known existed. Helen's foundation and the community she built has been a wonderful resource for so many affected by GT and I am honored to be able to serve on the board and help continue her legacy.
Melissa Zdziarski
Assistant Secretary
My oldest son, Peter, was diagnosed with Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia as a baby 28 years ago. At the time of his diagnosis there was very little information available about GT. I was lucky enough to find Helen Smith and the Glanzmann's Research Foundation a few years later, the support I received from the GT community was invaluable. I am honored to serve on the Glanzmann's Research Foundation board and hope we can continue to make a difference in the life of GT families around the world.
Cris Swain
Board Director
I’m an educator and I have a daughter with Glanzmann’s. Luísa was born in 2006 and since then, the GT family, especially Helen Smith, founder of the Glanzmann’s Research Foundation, has given us all the support we needed through all the rough and happy times we had during these past years. I’m honored to be part of the GT Board and contribute with as much as I can to our cause.
Emily Kichline
Board Director
Hello, I am Emily Kichline. I was diagnosed with Glanzmann’s at 2 months old. I am a Pennsylvania native and currently live in Pomona, California while I am attending veterinary school. I live at home with my long term boyfriend, our two cats and our crazy bulldog. In my free time I enjoy hiking, eating, reading, and competing in rodeo with my horse. I am a member of the GRF board because the GRF has been a major source of support and motivation throughout my life. My mom was introduced to Helen Smith early on in my diagnosis and as a young child I was able to meet and befriend many people in this community that have had such a huge impact on who I am today. It is an honor to serve on this board and to serve the Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia community.
Aidana Plummer
Board Director
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the Glanzmann’s Research Foundation. Helen Smith brought us all together, established a GT community where we could all learn and lean on each other, and it is a privilege to be a part of the GT family. My brother and I have GT (2 siblings are GT free).
Gretchen Plummer
Board Director
Welcome to the Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia Website! I am Gretchen Plummer, mother of four amazing children, two have GT. I am honored to serve on the board of the foundation my friend Helen Smith started, and thankful to her daughter Taylor for stepping up and ensuring our GT family remains united. Together we can make a difference!