Writing to Your Donor’s Family Members—

A Guide to Transplant Recipients

The decision to write to your doctor’s family is a very personal one. It may help you to know that donor family members consistently express appreciation for the letters or cards they receive from transplant recipients. Some recipients choose to write to their donor’s family and some do not.

If you decide to write, here are some suggestions:

  • Write about yourself. You may want to include your name (first name only) and information about your job, your family and friends, your hobbies and interests and the name of the state you reside in.
  • Write about your personal transplant experience. You may want to include information about your disease and how a transplant has affected your life.

You may wish to thank your donor family. Most donor families are just as curious about you as a recipient as you are about the donor.

Sign only your first name.

Keep identities anonymous and confidential…avoid including any last names, street addresses, city names, phone numbers, or names of hospitals or physicians. On occasion, donor families and transplant recipients may wish to reveal identities to each other. Both must agree to this before any personal information will be released by the eye/tissue bank.

After you have completed your letter or card:

Place the card or letter in an unsealed envelope

Include a separate sheet of paper with your full name, date of your transplant and the name of your surgeon in order for us to track who the donor was.

Mail both your letter or card and the separate note to in a larger envelope sealed to:


Attn: Family Services Department

5845 Owens Avenue

Carlsbad, CA 92008

All letters are reviewed to ensure confidentiality before the letter is forwarded to the donor family. Some donor families may send a letter or card in response to your letter.

Others may choose not to write to you at this time – this is their personal decision.

If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please contact SafetyGraft at 760-804-6890.