In 2017 I was diagnosed with end stage liver failure. I was terrified. I wasn’t ready to leave behind my husband and three year old daughter, we had just started our life together it seemed. We found our way to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and after a year or so of endless doctors appointments and tests and treatments I was listed for liver transplant. Even though I was listed the lack of donors and the odds of me receiving a transplant weighed heavily on me. I had begun to accept that death may be imminent. I had begun to prepare myself to have to say goodbye to loved ones… Then on November 18th 2018- one week after I was listed I got a call that I had a match. By the grace of God the surgery was a go and now 5 years later I am happy and healthy. About two years later I was fortunate enough that I was able to exchange a letter with my donor’s mother. It was heartbreaking and a blessing to learn that his name was Travis. He was just a young man of 19 and had his whole life in front of him. But thanks to a conversation he had had with his mother earlier in life, she knew he wanted to be an organ donor upon death. She knew he wanted to make a difference in someone’s life after his was over. I am here and my daughter has a mom, my husband has a wife, all because of Travis. My organ donor. My hero.
Many donor families find that corresponding with the transplant recipient or recipients can be a powerful experience. Donor families can take comfort in sharing stories and sending well wishes to those who live on because of their loved one.
Should you choose to connect, we're here to help. Letters and cards can be a tremendous gift to both the donor families and recipients. To protect everyone, we provide guidelines for communication. Names remain confidential unless both parties agree to share those with one another, and we provide a correspondence address. We are happy to share sample letters to help you get started.
For more information about corresponding with recipients, please call us at 505-843-7672.
When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, you leave a lasting legacy and bring hope to those waiting.
To access the National Registry, click here.