Deciding to Write

Organ donor families sometimes write to their recipients to share information about themselves and their loved one. Writing to transplant recipients can comfort donor families during a time of grief and loss. In turn, transplant recipients often appreciate and welcome getting to know their donor and donor family.

You do not need to wait until you hear from your loved one’s recipient(s) before you write. Still, the decision to communicate is very personal, and one that you may pursue at your own pace. Likewise, whether transplant recipients accept correspondence from their donor families is also their own choice. Some may not feel ready to read letters from their donor family at this time. Letters from donor families will never be sent directly to the transplant recipient without his or her consent.

There is no guarantee that you will hear back from the transplant recipient(s). Many have said that they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude to their donor. Some recipients go through a difficult period of guilt after the donation. However, it can still be a rewarding experience for donor families to contact their recipients. In any case, we ask that you respect the decision of your loved one’s recipient(s).