Sample Messages to Donor Families

Examples of messages written to donor families are shown below, as reference for recipients writing to the family of their donor. For additional information and guidelines on initiating communication with your donor family, please view our Writing to Donor Families Brochure.


Dear Donor family,

Thank you. I am the recipient of your loved one’s gift of a new heart. Your loved one’s gift has helped me feel young and healthy again. I was 36 and had just given birth to my first child when I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.  It was hard trying to raise a baby and deal with heart failure. When it was determined that I was going to be listed for a heart transplant, my family and I recognized that another family would be losing a loved one when I would receive the call of a match. My wait was fairly short, about 6 months. Our family, friends and community began praying for your family the moment we got the call.

The doctors tell me your loved one’s heart was a perfect match. I spent a week in the hospital and then had some physical therapy sessions to help with my stamina. I feel amazing. I wake up early every morning and give thanks to my donor for another day to see my child grow. My husband, family, friends and community are so grateful that your family supported donation and gave the gift of life. I would like to know about my donor, if you are willing to share any stories about them. Thank you again for supporting donation and giving me this gift.

Amanda, heart recipient




Dear Donor Family,

I am the recipient of one of your loved one’s kidneys.

How do I find the words to express my gratitude towards your family? Thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

How do I express how wonderful it is to wake up every morning with energy? Thank you.

How do I describe the freedom I feel by not having to go to dialysis 3 days a week?  Thank you.

How do I explain the pride I feel by being able to return to a full-time job and provide for my family?  Thank you.

How do I explain how wonderful it is to enjoy food again and not have to limit my food intake? Thank you.

“Thank you” is a simple phrase that does not seem to be grand enough to express my gratitude, but it is all I have to offer. I cannot repay you for this gift. Instead, I promise to live life to the fullest in honor of my donor.

Grateful recipient




Dear Donor Family,

Thank you so much for supporting donation. Because of you I can live a healthier life. I am forever grateful.

Liver recipient