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Donor Family Letters

Letter Writing Guidelines

The decision to write to your donor’s family is a personal one. For some donor families, receiving a letter from you—the recipient—can help the grieving process.

We work with the families of cornea and tissue donors and we would be happy to facilitate communication between you and your donor’s family.

Confidential Communication
By allowing LEITR to contact your donor’s family on your behalf, we can make sure your personal information stays confidential.

INFORMATION TO INCLUDE

  • Your first name and the first names of your family members (no last names please)
  • Your job or occupation
  • Your hobbies or interests
  • Your family situation (i.e. marital status, or if you have children or grandchildren)
  • How the transplant surgery has changed your life
  • Acknowledgment of the donor family’s loss, and gratitude for their gift
  • It is important to note that we do not know the donor family’s personal beliefs, and you should consider this before making religious comments. Please also use simple language.

SENDING YOUR MESSAGE

Please address your letter, card, or note to “Donor Family.” At the end of your message, please sign your first name only.

To make sure your message stays confidential, please do not include your address, city, phone number, email address, name of the surgery center, or name of your physician.

On a separate sheet of paper, please write your full name and the date when you received your transplant. This information will help us match you to your donor’s family. We will be sure to keep this information private.

Mail to: Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research
1410 N 21st St, Tampa, FL 33605

Or submit by email

HEARING BACK FROM YOUR DONOR’S FAMILY

Please be aware that you may or may not receive a response from the family of your donor.

Some families have said that after they receive a letter, they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their feelings in writing. Other donor families may take months or even years before they feel comfortable communicating with the recipient of their loved one’s donation.

Please remember that if you don’t get a response, this doesn’t mean your donor family was not appreciative of your letter.

Recipient Letters

By allowing LEITR to contact the recipient on your behalf, we can make sure your personal information stays confidential.

INFORMATION TO INCLUDE

  • Your loved one’s first name
  • Your loved one’s job or occupation
  • Your loved one’s hobbies or interests
  • Your family situation (i.e. marital status; if you have children or grandchildren)

It is important to note that we do not know the beliefs of your loved one’s transplant recipient and their family. Please keep this in mind before making any religious comments. Please also use simple language.

SENDING YOUR MESSAGE

Please address your letter, card, or note to “Transplant Recipient.” At the end of your message, please sign your first name only.

To maintain confidentiality, please do not include your address, city, phone number, email address, name of the surgery center, or name of the physician.

On a separate sheet of paper, please write your full name and the date of your loved one’s passing. Then, include this sheet with your message. This information will help us make sure your message gets to the right recipient. We will not send your personal information to the recipient.

Mail to: Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research
1410 N 21st St, Tampa, FL 33605

HEARING BACK FROM YOUR RECIPIENT

You may or may not receive a response from your transplant recipient. Some recipients may take months or even years before they feel comfortable communicating with their donor family. Many transplant recipients have difficultly expressing their gratitude in writing, but are still grateful for the selfless gift they have received.

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