UW Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) facilitates the exchange of correspondence between transplant recipient and donor families and encourages all transplant recipients to write to their donor family.
Many donor families are comforted by the correspondence they receive from the recipients of their loved one’s donation.
When writing your letter or card
Only include your first name
Acknowledge the donor family's loss, thank them for their gift and let them know their loved one will not be forgotten
Include details about yourself such as your occupation, hobbies or interests
Share information about your family and friends and include their first names and ages, if you wish
Briefly describe how long you waited for a transplant and what the wait was like for you and your family
Explain how the transplant has improved your health or changed your life:
Have you returned to work, school or a favorite activity?
Describe activities that you can now do
Share life events that you’ve enjoyed (graduations, marriages, births)
You may choose to send a card or letter. You can include a photo. You may include the state where you live. Do not include any identifying personal information such as last name, address, city, telephone number, email, Facebook account or place of employment.
Dear Donor Family:
I have been thinking about you and your family since I received the gift of life through your loved one’s gift of organ donation. I want you to know that I continue to give thanks each day for this gift. I’m so sorry for the loss of your loved one. I hope you can find some comfort knowing my life has completely changed because of this generous act. Words cannot express how thankful I am for your compassion. You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one and my greatest thanks for this second chance at life.
(Sign your first name only)
Sample content to write in a card
Please accept my gratitude for the gift of life that I received through your family’s unselfish gift of organ donation. Words cannot express how thankful I am for your generosity and compassion. You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one and my greatest thanks for this second chance at life. Thank you.
(Sign your first name only)
Sending your letter or card
Please print the following information on a separate piece of paper and include it with your letter or card. This information is necessary for identification purposes and will not be shared with your donor family.
The date you're mailing the letter or card to UW OTD
Recipient’s first and last name
Date of transplant
Send the letter or card, including the separate piece of paper, to UW Organ and Tissue Donation via U.S. mail:
UW Organ and Tissue Donation
Attn: Donor Family Services
448 Science Drive, Suite 250
Madison, WI 53711-1175
Or email, including the information requested above on the separate piece of paper, to Donor Family Services at email@example.com
Your donor family may not immediately respond to your correspondence. Don't let that stop you from writing again. Any letters UW OTD receives from the donor family will be forwarded to you. If you and your donor family agree to communicate directly this will be arranged through Donor Family Services at UW OTD. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.