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Writing Your Donor Family

Please contact the Organ Procurement Office with any question or concerns
 
(608) 265-0356
 
Send letters to:
 
UW Health OPO
450 Science Drive, Suite 220
Madison, WI 53711-9135
 
Remembering Your Donor
 
There are many ways to honor your donor. You may consider one of the following ideas:
 
Join the UW Health OPO Volunteer Network and assist them in their efforts to educate the public about organ donation. If interested, contact the UW Health OPO.
 
Plant a tree in memory of your donor.
 
Dedicate a memorial service at your place of worship.
 
Contribute to the UW Health OPO Donor Education Fund.
 
Remember your donor family with a card or letter during the holiday season or special occasions.
Writing your donor familyThe decision to write to your donor family is a personal choice. It may help you to know that donor families are comforted by the correspondence they receive from the recipients of their loved one’s organs.
 
It is also important to remember that the donor family has experienced the loss of a loved one and may choose not to respond for a long time, or at all. don’t let that keep you from writing again.
 
Suggestions for Your Letter
 
It may be difficult to find the appropriate words to express the gratitude you have to your donor family. Here are some tips for writing your first letter:
  • To maintain confidentiality, do not include any identifying information (i.e., last name, address, city, telephone number or photos). You may include the name of the state you live in, but not your address.
  • Acknowledge your donor family’s loss of a loved one.
  • Say “thank you.” It may not capture all of your feelings, but it is a start.
  • Include personal information, such as your occupation, hobbies and interests.
  • Share information about your family (spouse, children, grandchildren, etc). Use first names only.
  • Tell your story. Explain how the transplant experience has changed your life. Describe activities you are able to do as a result of the transplant.

Sample Letter

 
This is only a sample. Please put your thoughts in your own words.
 
Dear Donor Family:
 
It is now approaching (one month, three months, etc.) 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 and often think of you and your family. I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. I hope you can find some comfort knowing my life has completely changed because of your unselfish act. 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.
 
Sincerely,
 
(Sign your first name only)
 
Sending Your Letter
 
To protect the confidentiality of both the donor family and recipient, all correspondence is initially facilitated through the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization. Send your letter to the address below and it will be forwarded to your respective donor family. On a separate piece of paper, please write your full name and date of transplant and include it with your letter. Please do not include photos in your initial letter.
 
Send letters to:
 
UW Health OPO
450 Science Drive, Suite 220
Madison, WI 53711-9135 Any letters we receive from the donor family will be forwarded to you.