Corresponding with Your Donor Family.

As a cornea recipient, you may wish to communicate with your donor's family. Many recipients struggle with the decision to write to their donor family. They may not know how to say "thank you" for such a precious gift. But donor families do appreciate and often find comfort in knowing that the transplant was successful and has improved someone else's life.

Lions VisionGift encourages and facilitates all correspondence between donor families and cornea recipients. We protect the identity of both the donor families and the recipients. If you would like to write a letter to your donor's family, please use the following guidelines, which are recommended by the National Donor Family Council.

Sharing about yourself

  • Include first names only.
  • Acknowledge the donor family's loss and thank them for their gift.
  • Feel free to share information about your marital status, children, grandchildren, occupation, hobbies and interests.
  • Please avoid revealing too much detailed medical information about your illness.
  • Use simple language.
  • Talk about what life was like before your transplant.
  • Explain how the transplant has changed your life.
  • Do not get too personal in the initial letter.
  • Since the religion of the donor family is unknown, please consider this if you are including religious comments.

Closing your card or letter

  • Sign your first name only.
  • Do not reveal your address, city or phone number.
  • Do not reveal the name of your surgeon or the date of your transplant.

Mailing your card or letter

  • Place your card or letter in an unsealed envelope.
  • On a separate sheet of paper, please write your name, the name of your loved one, and the date of the donation.
  • Place the letter and the paper in another envelope, seal it and mail to:
    • Lions VisionGift
      Attn: Communications Coordinator
      2201 SE 11th Avenue
      Portland, OR 97214-5303

Please understand that you may or may not hear from your donor's family. Keep in mind that donor families have suffered a great loss. While some families may respond immediately, others may find it extremely difficult.

Thank you for taking the time to write a letter to your donor's family. They may still be dealing with the loss of their loved one, but your letter can provide some comfort. Their selfless decision to donate deserves thanks. Let them know that their loved one will not be forgotten.