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Writing to Donor Families

You have received a life-changing gift.

As the recipient of an organ, tissue or cornea donation, you may want to communicate with the donor family to show your appreciation for the gift their loved one provided.

Whether you write to the donor family is a personal decision. What may be right for you may not be right for another.

If You Choose to Write

Some patients are excited to write shortly after their operation, while others may not be ready for months or even years.

Do whatever feels right for you. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are confidential.

Guidelines for correspondence:

Provide general information:

  • Your first name only
  • Your family situation, such as marital status, children or grandchildren
  • Your occupation, hobbies or interests
  • What led to you becoming a transplant patient
  • The state where you live

Closing your card or letter:

  • Sign your first name only
  • Do not reveal your address, phone number or e-mail address
  • Do not reveal the name of the hospital or physician who cared for you

How to Mail Your Letter

  1. Place your letter in an unsealed envelope. (No postage necessary.)
  2. Include a separate note in the envelope with your full name and the date of your operation.
  3. Mail to:
    CORE
    Attn: Family Correspondence
    204 Sigma Drive
    Pittsburgh, PA 15238

When we receive the envelope, CORE will review the content to ensure confidentiality before forwarding your letter to the family.

Please keep in mind that you may or may not hear back from the family. Some families correspond with recipients, and others simply find comfort in knowing their loved one’s donation provided a second chance at life.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to provide donor families with comfort and express your feelings. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at 800-DONORS-7 (800-366-6777).

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