Writing to Donor Families

Have you ever wondered how you could thank the family who made your corneal transplant possible?

Thanking Donor Families

  • Donor families often find comfort in hearing from the recipients of their loved one’s corneas. A simple card, thank you note, or letter can be uplifting to the family and reassure them that they made a wonderful decision to help others in the midst of their grief.

Information You May Want to Include

Please address your correspondence to: “Donor Family”

Write about yourself:

  • Your job or occupation
  • Your family/friends (spouse, children, grandchildren, etc.)
  • Your hobbies or interests
  • (Since the religion of the donor family is unknown, please take this into consideration if making religious comments.)

Write about your transplant experience:

  • Use simple language.
  • Recognize the donor family and thank them for their gift.
  • Explain how the transplant has improved your vision and changed your life.
  • Can you participate in activities now that you couldn’t before the transplant?

Explain what has happened in your life, and how your renewed vision has made it more meaningful:

  • Did you celebrate a birthday?
  • Did a family member or close friend get married?
  • Did you become a parent/grandparent?
  • Did you return to school or job?

Closing your card or letter:

  • Sign your name as “Corneal Recipient”.
  • Do not reveal your address, city or phone number.
  • Do not reveal the name of the facility where your transplant surgery took place or your surgeon’s name.

Mailing your card or letter:

  • Place in an unsealed envelope.
  • Include in the mailing envelope a separate piece of paper with :
  • Your full name
  • Date of your transplant surgery

Mail to:

Lions Eye Bank of Nebraska
985541 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5541

Allow extra time:

  • A Lions Eye Bank of Nebraska coordinator will first review your card or letter to ensure confidentiality. The donor family will then be notified and offered the option of receiving the letter.

Will I hear from the donor family?

  • You may or may not. Some donor families have said that writing about their loved one and their decision to donate helps them in their grieving process. Other donor families, even though they are comfortable with their decision to donate, prefer privacy and choose not to write to the transplant recipients.
  • Remember, the donor’s family may still be coping with the loss of their loved one and individuals manage grief in different ways. While you may be celebrating the anniversary of receiving your transplant, it is also the anniversary of someone else’s loss.