Change. Empower. Connect.


For those of us living with GVHD, CONNECTING CAN BRING SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND COMFORT and remind us—there is always hope.

—Meredith, survivor

We’re here for you

People living with GVHD (Graft-versus-host disease) may feel alone all too often. That’s why the GVHD Alliance strives to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people living with GVHD—and to celebrate the courage they show while overcoming those challenges.

Keep reading to find out more about what we do, who we are, and how you can help.

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Serving the
GVHD community

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Serving the community

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The GVHD Alliance supports those affected by GVHD—people who have been diagnosed, as well as their loved ones and health care teams. We:

Actively work to best understand and address needs

Amplify voices by providing helpful resources to create change

Did you know?

Connecting to the community can help empower you along your journey—whether you have GVHD or care about someone who does.


What is GVHD?

What is GVHD?

Graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, is a condition that can happen after a blood stem cell transplant. Donor cells (the graft) that a person (the host) has received attack that person’s organs and/or tissues. The donor cells do this because they mistake the host’s organs and/or tissues as a threat.

Thousands of people are diagnosed with GVHD each year in the United States alone. But the number of lives impacted is immeasurable.

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Sometimes GVHD symptoms affect so many organs that people can’t live their lives the way they are used to. Even daily routines can be affected. In severe cases, GVHD can be life-threatening.

There are 2 kinds of GVHD—acute GVHD (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD). People who receive blood stem cell transplants can develop either kind, or both.

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Learn about GVHD

Finding out about GVHD for the first time can be overwhelming. If you or someone you love was just diagnosed, you can find some information about GVHD right here on this site.

Choose an option below to learn more about the types of GVHD and the effects of GVHD on quality of life

aGVHD usually occurs in the first 3 months after a blood stem cell transplant, but it can occur later as well

It can affect the skin, the gut, and/or the liver

The skin is usually the first organ affected

Symptoms of aGVHD may include

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  • A rash that looks like measles
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  • Nausea that doesn’t go away
  • Vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Diarrhea that can cause severe abdominal pain and cramping
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  • Liver issues
  • Jaundice

cGVHD usually occurs within the first year after a blood stem cell transplant but sometimes, signs and symptoms don’t develop until later

Early symptoms of cGVHD may include
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  • Skin rash
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  • Oral (mouth) sensitivities or dryness
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  • Dry, irritated eyes

cGVHD can affect many more organs than aGVHD. It usually affects more than one organ, most commonly the

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  • Eyes
  • Mouth
  • Skin
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  • Joints and fascia (the tissue that holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place)
  • Gastrointestinal tract
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  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Genitals
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  • Eyes
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  • Mouth
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  • Skin
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  • Joints and fascia (the tissue that holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place)
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  • Gastrointestinal tract
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  • Liver
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  • Lungs
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  • Genitals

Living with acute or chronic GVHD can be overwhelming for patients, as well as their caregivers and family. If you are finding it difficult to cope, know that you are not alone—in fact, patients have described the process as a “full-time job.” One reason it can be hard to adjust is because GVHD can bring about challenges with

  • Physical functioning
  • Fatigue
  • General health
  • Social functioning
  • Psychological distress
    (depression, anxiety)

If you have either type of GVHD and are struggling to cope, tell your health care provider. They may be able to refer you to other supportive care services.

A multidisciplinary approach (one that involves mental health professionals as well as specialists you may need for physical symptoms) can help ensure that you get the care you need.


Resources for the GVHD Community

A GVHD diagnosis can lead to lots of questions for both patients and caregivers. The GVHD Alliance believes that education is the bridge between awareness and action, so we have collected some resources to help you. Here, you’ll find links to web pages, downloads, videos, and podcasts.

It’s important that the appropriate expectations are set throughout the patient journey. Making resources available to people receiving blood stem cell transplants may help them and their loved ones:

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Understand the risk of GVHD

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Recognize the symptoms of GVHD earlier

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Optimize discussions with health care teams

Get started here

Select a tab to see what’s available.

Search by General GVHD Topic

General GVHD Tools

Finding a Doctor


Living With GVHD

GVHD and Emotional Health (for Patients and Caregivers)

GVHD and Mental Health Support Groups (for Patients and Caregivers)

Advocacy and Events

Resources in Spanish

Search by GVHD Symptoms

Cutaneous (Skin, Nails, Hair) GVHD

Oral (Mouth) GVHD

Ocular (Eyes) GVHD

Gastrointestinal and Liver GVHD

GVHD of the Joints, Fascia (Tissue), and Muscles

Lungs and Chronic GVHD

Genitals and Chronic GVHD

Who we are

Who is part of the GVHD Alliance?

The GVHD Alliance is built on the dedication and collaboration of its founders.

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