Writing to Your Donor Family

At the OTS meeting on April 5, we were fortunate to have two different speakers.  Margaret Pearson, a coordinator in the office of organ and tissue donation at the Illinois Secretary of State’s office spoke about all the different events planned during April to promote organ and tissue donation.  Many public service announcements were aired on local TV stations that featured Sofia, an 11-year-old girl who received a heart transplant last year. 

Our main topic of discussion at the April meeting was all about writing to our donor family.  Renata Krzyston, an Aftercare Specialist with the Gift of Hope, explained that a total of 2,500 letters were handled by her office between donor families and recipients last year.  However, even with all these letters, the total level of correspondence between transplant recipients and donor families is very low, less than 10%. 

Renata encouraged all transplant recipients to write a letter to their donor family, and she explained that there are no time restrictions on when it is too early or too late to write that letter.  She has worked with transplant recipients that are writing their first letter more than 20 years after their transplant.  If you need any help writing a letter, the Gift of Hope can help you.  They have correspondence guidelines that have tips on what to write about yourself, and what information to include and not to include.   If you wrote to letter and are not sure that it was received, please call the Gift of Hope and ask about your letter.    If you are not sure about the letter you have written, call the Gift of Hope and review it with them.   They will be more than happy to help you write your letter. 

OTS sincerely thanks both Margaret Pearson and Renate Krzyston for the valuable information they shared at the April OTS meeting.

Jaime Scholl