Just For You

Donor families often say they want to hear from the recipients of their loved ones’ organs, tissues and eyes.

We make it easier for you to contact your donor’s family to say “thank you” for your second chance at life.

This is how the process works:

  • When organ, tissue and/or cornea donation takes place, LiveOnNY provides information to the donor’s family about the recipients and their condition after transplant. Recipients remain anonymous to the donor’s family.
  • The process of communications between the donor’s family and recipient(s) can commence in two ways:
    • The donor family will write to the recipient(s) — confidentiality will be preserved — and the letter will be forwarded to the recipient(s) by LiveOnNY.
    • The recipient(s) will write to the donor’s family — confidentiality will be preserved — and the letter will be forwarded to the donor’s family by the recipient’s transplant center

6 Things to Remember When Writing to Your Donor Family

  1. In order to maintain confidentiality, please refer to yourself by first name only.
  2. Give only the state you live in, not the city or town.
  3. Tell the family something about your family and yourself.
  4. Describe the things you enjoy doing or are looking forward to doing now.
  5. Sign only your first name.
  6. Do not include your address, telephone number or the hospital where you received your transplant.

How Does Your Letter Reach Your Donor’s Family?

A transplant coordinator from your transplant center will forward the letter to LiveOnNY with other information needed to transfer it to the family. Strict confidentiality is maintained on your behalf and also on behalf of your donor’s family.

Your letter goes through several steps:

  1. Place the letter in a blank, unsealed envelope.
  2. Include a separate piece of paper with your name and the date of your transplant.
  3. Give or send your letter to your coordinator at your transplant center.
  4. Your letter will be transferred to LiveOnNY’s Donor Family Services counselors.
  5. If the donation was coordinated in the greater New York metropolitan area byLiveOnNY, the letter will be forwarded to the donor’s family, after checking that they are ready to receive a letter from a recipient.
  6. If the donor was from outside of our region, your letter is forwarded to the organ procurement organization who procured your organ and they will follow #5 above.
  7. It may take a month or longer for your letter to reach the donor’s family.

Since each family grieves the loss of a loved one in a different way, it is not certain when or if you will receive a response. But you will know you have reached out and expressed your gratitude for receiving your gift of life.