As a donor family member, you may or may not wish to communicate with the recipients of your loved one’s organs or tissues. Some donor families find that contact with recipients helps to ease their grief. Others prefer simply knowing that others live on. Ultimately the choice to connect with recipients will always be your personal decision.
On this page you will find the following resources:
A. Yes. If it has been more than 1 year between the time you received initial information on your donor's recipients, the Family Services team can contact transplant centers for additional updates. This process typically takes 2-4 weeks from time of request.
A. Contact the Family Services team via email and let us know you want to reach out to your donor's recipient(s). We will then respond with tips and options for connecting you.
A. There is absolutely no time limit. CDT has worked with families that have waited anywhere from a few months to a few years before making contact with recipients. We can assist you no matter what your timeline.
A. Occasionally, donor families and recipients who have communicated on a regular basis decide they would like to meet. For families that meet their recipient(s), CDT is available to provide support, such as:
A. No. Contact information such as name, address and phone number are kept anonymous unless the donor family and recipient(s) agree to exchange such information.
A. It is common for recipients to be the first party to initiate contact. Typically this comes in the form of a short letter or card expressing thanks for the gift of life as well as condolences on the donor's passing. When letters such as these are received by CDT, the Family Services team will forward the correspondence to the donor family.
A. Yes! Many families have chosen to include pictures of their loved one or their family in letters; however, we ask that you are comfortable sharing any information that may be identifiable in the photo.
A. CDT reserves the right to screen correspondence to ensure that no potentially harmful content is shared with a donor family or recipient(s). In the event that CDT identifies a letter with possible harmful content, the correspondence will be returned.
A. Some recipients may send a letter or card to you in response to your letter. Others may choose not to write at this time – remember – it is their personal decision. Many recipients have said they feel overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude in writing, and others may need time to recover from their surgery.
A. You can send your letter(s) to the Family Services team in two ways:
218 Great Oaks Blvd
Albany, NY 12203
firstname.lastname@example.org (or click below)
Please contact us at 518-262-5606 or email@example.com should you have any questions.
In the attachments section you may include items such as: -Copy of a letter -Copy of greeting card -Picture(s) of your loved one If you have questions, please contact Family Services at 518-262-5606 or FamilyServices@cdtny.org
See below for an example of a donor family's initial letter to their donor's organ recipient(s)
Below we have included a template you may open and edit to create a letter to your recipient(s)