Recipient Updates & Communication
Since the time your loved one became a donor hero, your thoughts have likely turned to the recipients and how the donation has impacted their lives. You have the opportunity to share about your loved one—and possibly start a conversation—by writing to those who received your loved one’s gift of life.
Donor families can request updates on their loved one’s recipients at any time by contacting the Aftercare team at 402-733-1800.
When to reach out to your loved one’s recipients—and what to share with them—is a very personal choice.
You do not need to wait until you hear from the recipients before you write; you may make the initial contact. Some families reach out very soon after their loved one’s passing. Others may take months, even years. Our best advice? Write when you feel ready.
What to Say/Include
Before you reach out, you’ll want to think about how much personal information you want to share about your loved one and yourself. At Live On Nebraska, we allow donor families and recipients to make this determination on their own and do not place any limitations on what can be shared. With that in mind, please remember that anything that is shared cannot be taken back and we cannot control what recipients choose to do with that information.
Also, please understand that other organizations involved in the transplantation of your loved one’s organs and tissues may limit what recipients share. Therefore, correspondence facilitated by other organizations may be redacted when received.
You may choose to send a greeting card, personal letter, or photos. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Address the letter “Dear Recipient:”
- If you decide not to include your first name, simply close the letter with “Donor’s Spouse,” “Donor’s Daughter,” etc.
What You Might Include
- Your loved one’s name
- The age and gender of your loved one
- Information about your loved one’s family — marital status, children or grandchildren
- Your loved one’s job or occupation, hobbies or interests
- You and/or your loved one’s location
- Your loved one’s feelings about donation/desire to be a donor
- If you are open to future correspondence from the recipient
- If you would like to communicate directly with the recipients, you may include your address or other contact information
Sending Your Letter
When your letter is completed, you can send it to Live On Nebraska by mail or email.
- Place your card or letter in an unsealed blank envelope. Do not place a stamp or write your return address or your full name on this envelope.
- Place a separate piece of paper with the donors’ full name and your full name in the unsealed envelope.
- Place the unsealed envelope into another envelope addressed to: Live On Nebraska, 3867 Leavenworth St., Omaha, NE 68105
- Type your letter in a document or scan your card or hand-written letter and save it as a file to attach to your email.
- Email your attachment, along with the donor’s full name and your full name to FamilyServicesDepartment@LiveOnNebraska.org.
Your letter will be forwarded to the organizations involved in the transplantation of your loved one’s organs and tissues. Please allow extra time for review and forwarding of your correspondence.
What to Expect from the Recipient
Every recipient’s story is different and their response to receiving your loved one’s gift of life will be unique to them as well.
Most transplant recipients have said they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude in words. The recipients will normally say writing to their donor family is the most difficult thing they have ever done.
Some recipients feel guilty because they are still alive, but the donor is not. While the recipients are grateful for the gift, they are afraid their correspondence might cause the donor family pain by bringing back memories of the donor.
If you don’t hear back from the recipients, we encourage you to keep writing.
Questions and Assistance
We will gladly help answer any questions you may have about writing to recipients. For assistance, please call Live On Nebraska any time at 402-733-1800.