Giving Thanks: A guide to writing to your Donor Family

The biggest gifts are often the ones most difficult to find words to express thanks. This is not out of a lack of gratitude, but often from concern that the words will fall short.

As a full cornea and/or KeraNatural recipient, we encourage you to communicate with your donor’s family. Many recipients struggle with the decision to write as 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 made a difference in someone’s life.

It is important to note that you may not receive returned correspondence from your donor’s family. While some families may respond immediately, others may need more time, and some may choose to never write back.

If the donor family does reply, VisionGift will continue to forward your letters back and forth. If a day comes when both you and the donor family want to communicate directly, VG will guide you in that process.

Information you can include in your letter

  • Include first names only.
  • Acknowledge the donor family’s loss and thank them for their gift.
  • The state where you live.
  • Feel free to share information about your marital status, children,
  • Do not get too personal in the initial letter.
  • Talk about what life was like before your transplant.
  • Explain how the transplant has changed your life.
  • 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 the card or letter to your donor family in an unsealed envelope.
  • On a separate sheet of paper, please write your full name, and the date of your surgery/surgeries.
  • Place both your letter and that piece of paper in another envelope, seal it and mail it to:

Attn: Matt Webber
2201 SE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Emailing your letter

  • Email your letter as an attachment.
  • In the body of your email, please write your full name, and the date of your surgery/surgeries.
  • Send your letter to: