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Writing to Transplant Recipients Donor Families

Writing to Transplant Recipients & Donor Families

LifeLink facilitates communication between donor families and recipients, which can help grieving families heal and allow recipients the chance to express their gratitude for the lifesaving gift they received. After donor families and recipients have communicated through letters and both parties have expressed an interest in meeting LifeLink can help facilitate this initial gathering.

Some guidelines to help you as you write your correspondence:

  • Please address your correspondence to the transplant recipient or donor family as Dear Donor Family, or Dear Transplant Recipient.
  • Identify yourself by only your first name and, if a transplant recipient writing to your donor family, add the organ you received. For example, John, heart recipient. If you are a donor family member, please identify yourself as such, along with your relationship to the donor. For example, Mary, donor’s mom.
  • Please do not include identifying information such as your or the donor’s last name, hometowns, hospital where donation or transplant occurred, date of donation or transplant, etc.
  • You might consider including your interests, or in the case of a donor family, the donor’s interests, family situation (spouse, children, grandchildren), hobbies, job or occupation.
  • Please be aware that the individual or family you are corresponding with may have different religious beliefs than your own, and keep that in mind when making religious comments or references.
  • Transplant recipients writing to donor families should mail their letter to their transplant center, to the attention of their transplant coordinator. The transplant coordinator will forward the letter to the appropriate organ recovery organization to share with the donor family.

Donor family members should mail their letter to the attention of LifeLink Family Services at the LifeLink office serving their state.

Please use the resources below to help you write a note of thanks to the family of your donor or to extend your well-wishes to the person who received your loved one’s Gift of Life, or to make contact with your donor family.