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
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.
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
Connecting to the community can help empower you along your journey—whether you have GVHD or care about someone who does.CONNECT WITH
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.
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.
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
cGVHD usually occurs within the first year after a blood stem cell transplant but sometimes, signs and symptoms don’t develop until later
cGVHD can affect many more organs than aGVHD. It usually affects more than one organ, most commonly the
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
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.
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:
Understand the risk of GVHD
Recognize the symptoms of GVHD earlier
Optimize discussions with health care teams
Select a tab to see what’s available.
Who we are