Donor Family Support

Writing to Your Loved One’s Transplant Recipients


As a member of a donor family, you may wish to communicate with the recipients of your loved one’s organs and/or tissues. Choosing to write to a recipient is a personal decision, and not one that needs to be made immediately. CORE helps facilitate connections between donor families and recipients and encourages you to write if and when it feels right for you.

For some families, sharing information about themselves and their loved one helps them in their grief journey. What you choose to share is entirely up to you. All names are kept confidential unless both parties have agreed to disclose their identities to each other. If you decide to write, below are some guidelines:

  • Write information you are comfortable with sharing about yourself, your loved one, and other family members. This may include occupation, hobbies or interests.
  • You may want to write about how your decision to donate has impacted you or your family.
  • You may include first names only and the state in which you live. Keep identities anonymous and confidential. Avoid using any last names, street addresses, phone numbers or names of hospitals or physicians.
  • You may also include photographs of your loved one or family.
  • You may feel more comfortable sending a card during the holidays or a “Thinking of You” card if you choose not to write a long letter.

CORE will review your letter and forward it to the recipient(s) on your behalf. *All identifying information will be removed from the letter to adhere to CORE’s privacy policy.

You may also choose to submit your letter electronically.

Upload your letter to your loved one’s recipient(s) here


How to mail your letter:

When mailing the card or letter, place it in an unsealed envelope. There is no need to include postage. In the envelope, include your full name and the name and date of death of your loved one on a separate piece of paper.

Mail it to:

Attn: Donor Family Services
204 Sigma Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Upon receipt of your letter, CORE will review it to ensure confidentiality and then will forward it to the transplant recipient(s).


Will you hear back from the recipient?

Many transplant recipients welcome correspondence from their donor families but please keep in mind that you may not receive a response. While some recipients may choose to send a letter or a card in response to your letter, others may choose to remain anonymous.

Please do not take such inaction personally, as some transplant recipients feel overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude in words. We do know that recipients are grateful for the gift of life and appreciate hearing from donor families.

For further questions or if you need assistance in writing your letter, please reach out to our Donor Family Services Department by calling (412) 963-3550 or by emailing