It is very thoughtful of you to want to write to the family who made your transplant or your family member’s transplant possible. Many families say that a card or personal note from the recipient provides them with comfort in knowing that their loved one’s gift made a difference. Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is able to facilitate correspondence for transplant recipients and donors’ families in Illinois who choose to correspond. Below are guidelines to assist you with writing to your donor’s family.
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Talk About Yourself

  • Use only your first name.

  • Include the state (not the city) in which you live.

  • Include your age.

  • Include your job or occupation (no company names) and hobbies

  • Include your family situation, such as marital status, children or grandchildren. (Remember to use only first names)

  • Be sensitive regarding religious comments and views, because the your donor family’s specific faith is not known.

  • Do include month and year of events, please refrain from using exact dates

Talk about your transplant experience

  • Use simple language.

  • 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 and changed your life.

  • Talk about the activities in which you can now participate because of your transplant.

  • Explain what has happened in your life since your transplant, e.g., celebrated another birthday or anniversary, got married, became a parent, returned to work or school.

Closing your letter

  • Sign your first name only.

  • Do not include your address, city or telephone number.

  • Do not reveal the name or location of the hospital or doctor involved with your transplant.

Mailing your letter

  • Include a separate piece of paper with your full name, as well as the date and location of your transplant. (This is for Gift of Hope’s information)

  • Place these items in another envelope and mail them to:

    Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
    Attn: Donor Family Services
    425 Spring Lake Drive
    Itasca, IL 60143

    Upon receiving your letter, we will review the letter to ensure privacy and then forward it to your donor family.

Will You Hear Back From the Donor Family?

You may or may not hear back. Many families have said that writing about their loved one and discussing their decision to donate gives them comfort. Other families—even though they are comfortable with their decision to donate—prefer privacy and choose not to communicate. The family may still be coping with their loss, and individuals manage grief in different ways. You can also find sample letters and information by visiting Giftofhope.org. Under the Donor Family Services, and select Correspondence. If you have additional questions, contact Donor Family Services Coordinator at DonorFamilies@giftofhope.org or 877/577-3747.

Contact Us For More Information Or Questions!

Address: 425 Spring Lake Drive,
Itasca, IL 60143

Phone: (630) 758-2600

Fax: (630) 758-2601

Gift of Hope has teamed up with LifeGoesOn.com to make it easy to become an organ and tissue donor. Visit www.lifegoeson.com to join the registry today.

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