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Writing to Your Donor Family

 

Deciding whether to write your donor family is a personal and sometimes difficult decision. Perhaps you don’t feel ready to write or don't know exactly what to say, or maybe you are bursting to thank your donor's family and tell them of the impact their loved one had on your life. You have a unique story to tell, and we want you to tell it at your own pace. 

The Living Legacy Foundation’s Family Services Department facilitates all correspondence between transplant recipients and donor families. Regardless of whether you decide to send a simple card or a detailed letter, the act of reaching out lets your donor's family know you are thinking of them.

Helpful hints and tips about the letter-writing process:

  • Recipients may choose to write to their donor family to tell a little about themselves and the impact donation has had on their lives and the lives of their families. Donor families often welcome and appreciate these details.       
  • We recommend you do not disclose any identifying or direct contact information until you get a feel for your donor's family and how you feel about corresponding with them. While the Living Legacy Foundation does not restrict this information, we do want to make sure you have considered all of the potential outcomes of making such a disclosure.
  • Due to increasing use of social media sites and other online search capabilities, the range of information making you “identifiable” has greatly increased. If you disclose the same information that you have written on a Facebook page or blog, your recipient may be able to locate you through the internet.
  • Prior to sending your letter, LLF works closely with other donor programs and transplant centers to ensure donor families are ready for this next step. If we receive feedback the family is not ready to correspond, we will immediately contact you to let you know. Please be understanding of this decision, and know that we will do the same for you should you ever decide you are not ready for correspondence. 
  • After your initial letter is written and forwarded to the donor's family, you may feel anxious about what happens next. Although many recipients do hear back from their donor's family, there is no guarantee you will receive a response. Should your donor's family choose not to write to you at this time, please do not take this inaction personally.

 

The Living Legacy Foundation’s Family Service Coordinators are always available to assist you with writing to your donor's family. We can answer questions about the process, discuss your feelings about taking this step, and help you write your card or letter. Please don’t hesitate to call us with questions or concerns. Call 410-242-7000 and ask to speak to a Family Services Coordinator.

To mail your letter:

1. Place your card/letter in an unsealed envelope.
2. On a separate piece of paper, write your (the recipient's) full name, the date of donation, and your contact information.
3. Place the unsealed envelope and the piece of paper in a sealed envelope and mail your letter to:

The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
1730 Twin Springs Road
Ste 200
Baltimore, MD 21227

To e-mail your letter:

1. Attach your letter to the e-mail as a word document or enter the text into the body of your e-mail.
2. Please include your (the recipient's) full name, the date of donation, and your contact information.
3. Send your e-mail to: familyservices@thellf.org.

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