Flinnoy Hopton, HEART RECIPIENT
Donor Family & Transplant Recipients
Writing to Donor Families and Transplant Recipients
"My cornea donor gave me my vision back and that is a beautiful gift." – Connie Lawson, Cornea Recipient
LifeCenter supports written correspondence between recipients and donor families when both parties are open to it. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are kept confidential. The decision to send correspondence is a very personal one and it is your choice. If you would like to write to your loved one's transplant recipient(s), you may send a greeting card or a letter.
Connie Lawson, CORNEA RECIPIENT
Information About Writing:
Provide General Information:
Your loved one’s first name only.
Occupation, hobbies or interests of your loved one.
The state in which you live (not the city).
Your family situation such as marital status, children, or grandchildren. (Do not include last names).
Since the religion is unknown, please consider this if you are including religious comments.
Closing your card or letter:
Sign your first name only.
Do not reveal your address, city, or phone number.
Do not reveal the name of your loved one's hospital.
Mailing your card or letter:
When submitting, include this information SEPARATELY:
- Your full name
- Your loved one’s full name
- Date of the donation or transplant
Mail your letter to:
LifeCenter Organ Donor Network
ATTN: Family Aftercare
615 Elsinore Pl, Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45202
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION…
LifeCenter’s Family Aftercare Department has created a video that
speaks in more detail about the writing process. We also
welcome you to download a printable PowerPoint of the
presentation to be used as a resource when writing to your
loved one’s recipient(s).
What Happens Next?
LifeCenter will review your correspondence first to ensure confidentiality and will then begin the process of forwarding it.
Since your correspondence must be mailed to LifeCenter first and then forwarded, please keep in mind it will take extra time for your letter to reach the transplant recipient(s). It may take several weeks after you’ve mailed it for the recipient(s) to receive it.
It is important to understand that you may or may not receive a response. Many transplant recipient(s) have said that they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their feelings. Others may take several months or even years before they feel comfortable writing to their donor's family.
Communication with tissue recipients differs from that of organ recipients. Most tissue recipients receive their gift during a surgical procedure in a hospital or outpatient facility and their follow-up care is much different than an organ recipient. Therefore, contact cannot be initiated by the donor family.
However, programs have been created to encourage tissue recipients to reach out to their donor families. As a result, the amount of correspondence received has greatly increased. Should LifeCenter receive a letter from one of your loved one’s tissue recipients, we will forward it as soon as possible. For this reason, it’s important to keep LifeCenter informed with your most up-to-date mailing address.