Working together. Saving lives.

Connecting donor families & recipients

Sometimes donor families and recipients choose to contact one another. While the decision to share your experience is a personal choice, many donor families and recipients find comfort in correspondence. For donor families, this sharing may help in the grieving process. For recipients, it can provide the opportunity to to express gratitude and share information about progress and renewed lives.

All correspondence is coordinated through the transplant center and organ procurement organization (OPO). Each transplant center may have different procedures for contacting donor families, so it is best that you talk to your transplant coordinator or OPO for specific recommendations and requirements. Transplant centers and OPOs have policies in place to protect the privacy of both parties. Correspondence is primarily anonymous, unless both sides agree to meet.

Recipients writing to donor families

Information you may choose to include:

  • Your first name
  • The state (not city) where you live
  • Awareness of the donor family’s loss
  • How grateful you are for their loved one’s donation
  • Something about yourself and your family (hobbies, interests)
  • How long you were on the transplant waiting list
  • How the transplant has impacted your life
  • Life events you’ve experienced since your transplant

Please do not include:

  • Specific information about yourself (last name, age, city where you live) or your family
  • Specific contact information (phone, address, email, etc.)
  • The name of your surgeon or transplant center
  • Religious terminology (out of respect for the donor family’s faith tradition)

Donor families writing to recipients

Information you may choose to include:

  • Your first name
  • The state (not city) where you live
  • How the experience has impacted your life

Please do not include:

  • Specific information about yourself (last name, age, city where you live) or your family
  • Specific contact information (phone, address, email, etc.)
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