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. In order for this to occur, at least one anonymous letter from both parties must be exchanged. Then, if the donor family and recipient have expressed an interest in direct communication, both will be asked to sign a consent form allowing us to release their contact information.
A. No. Contact information such as name, address and phone number are kept anonymous unless both 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 contact the donor family to ask if they would like to receive the correspondence.
A. Only include information yo feel comfortable sharing. We recommend:
A. We recommend that you do not share identifying information. Avoid using:
A. Yes! Many families have chosen to include pictures of their loved one or their family in letters; however, we ask that you ensure there is nothing that could identify you in the pictures. If you do decide to send a picture, our Family Services team will inform the transplant center of this addition. This allows the transplant center to ask their recipient if they are comfortable receiving a photo.
A. Yes, CDT reserves the right to return correspondence that may be harmful to the recipient or that is not written anonymously. The recipient may be contacted to request permission to forward the correspondence. If your letter includes identifying information, it will be removed at the discretion of CDT.
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.