Writing to Recipients


Some donor families wish to write to the transplant recipients of their loved one's organs and tissues. The decision to write to the transplant recipients is a personal choice. Some feel it helps with the grieving process.
This section provides information that will help if you choose to write. The BC Human Tissue Gift Act requires that the identity of both the donor and the recipient be kept confidential. For this reason, we ask that you do not include identifying personal information, such as your names, where you live, or where you work. Feel free to send a card, a simple hand written note or typed letter.

Here are some simple guidelines:

  • Gender and lifestage ( ie: child, teen, middle aged etc. ) of your loved one.
  • Favorite past times, hobbies or interests
  • Family situation of your loved one such as marital status, children, grandchildren (Please do NOT include names)
  • Since the religion of the transplant recipient's family is unknown, please consider this if you are including religious comments

Closing your card or letter:

  • Simply sign your card or letter "the donor family" only

Please do NOT include:

  • Your address, city, telephone number or email address
  • The name of the hospital in which your loved one was a patient
  • Names of your loved one or family members


Mailing your card or letter:

  • Place your card or letter in an unsealed envelope. Include on a separate piece of paper:

Your full name, mailing address, and the date of donation.
Please mail both documents in a sealed envelope to :
BC Transplant
c/o ODHD
West Tower, Suite 350
555 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 3X7
You could also e-mail us your letter at donorfamily@bct.phsa.ca

The Donor Family Support Program will review the letter to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for both you and the transplant recipients, before sending it on to the recipient. Each letter is forwarded from BCT, therefore, there may be a slight delay before your letter reaches the transplant recipient. We make every effort to get letters out as soon as we receive them.

A sample letter written by one of our donor moms:

Dear Friend,
Your card arrived last week and it was
the most meaningful event since our
loved one's death. How I wish I could
give you both a big hug for writing to us!
It gives us great comfort to think of your
family, and I try to picture you and your
wife and your children, as you celebrate
life together.
Our loved one made the decision to be
an organ donor many years ago, while
still a teenager. He registered his wishes
again last year, when the new registry
began. Little did he know then how soon
his decision would have such a big
impact on other people's lives.
We feel our loved one lives on in you and
in the other recipients. Thank you for
helping us find meaning in our loss.
We hope and pray for your continued
good health.
A Donor Mom

For more information contact: donorfamily@bct.phsa.ca