Reaching Out to Recipients
UW Organ and Tissue Donation facilitates communication between donor families and recipients. Many families find great comfort in communicating with recipients. The decision for donors and recipients to communicate is a personal one, and everyone is ready at a different time. We realize donor families move through the grieving process in different ways and at their own pace.Remember, your way is the right way for you to grieve. We are here to offer support.
The time it can take to make a connection is greatly varied. While you are experiencing great personal loss, recipients are recovering from very serious illnesses. Recipients often feel overwhelmed after receiving such a precious gift and may have difficulty finding words to express their thankfulness.
Don't let that keep you from embracing the life-saving gifts you shared, and know a recipient’s gratitude, even if unspoken, is enormous.
Writing Your Letter
You may choose to write a letter to your loved one’s recipient/s at any time. The following tips may be useful when writing your first letter. A sample letter is below for your use.
- Tell your story
- Share information about your loved one
- You may wish to describe his/her personality, interests, occupations or other information you feel comfortable sharing
- To maintain confidentiality, please do not include identifying information (i.e. last name, address, email address or telephone number)
Send your letter to:
UW Organ and Tissue Donation
450 Science Drive, Suite 220
Madison, WI 53711-9135
Please include your loved one’s full name and date of donation on a separate piece of paper.
We will forward the letter to the recipient/s. Initially, correspondence is sent anonymously through our office. If you wish to communicate directly with your loved one’s recipient/s or if you decide to meet in person, let us know.
Direct communication requires both the donor family and recipient to sign a release form. Please inform us of this desire and we will send you a form.
This is only a sample. Please put your thoughts in your own words.
It has been (timeframe) since we lost our (son/daughter, wife/husband, brother/sister), (first name) and honored him/her through organ donation. Although we miss him/her very much, we are comforted by the fact that he/she was able to save others’ lives. We thought you might like to know a little bit about (first name).
(First Name) enjoyed (hobbies, sports, interests or other information you wish to share).
We hope that your recovery is going well, and that you are enjoying time with your family and friends. We would enjoy hearing from you.
(Signed, first name only)