Why do it

Donor families often tell SightLife that they find much comfort in knowing their loved one's donation has improved others' lives. They also enjoy learning about those who received their loved one's corneas. If you are a cornea recipient or the parent of a child who received a cornea, we encourage you to write to your donor family through us. It's certainly a personal decision, but we know even a few words go a very long way.

Rebekah and her mother Mardee

If you have questions or concerns about writing a letter, we encourage you to call our Family Services Manager at 800.847.5786, ext. 138.

Click here to read a cornea recipient's letter to a donor family.

How to do it

  • Keep identities anonymous and confidential by using first names only. Avoid including street addresses, phone numbers, e-mails, city names, or names of hospitals and physicians.
  • Write about yourself. Include information about your family, friends, occupation, hobbies and interests, and the state (not city) in which you live.
  • Write about your transplant experience. You may want to include why your transplant was necessary and how it improved your quality of life.
  • You may want to acknowledge the donor family and thank them for their gift.
  • Since the religion of the donor family is unknown, please consider this if you are including religious comments.
  • Sign your first name only.
  • Place your letter in an unsealed envelope. Include on a separate sheet of paper your full name, the date of your transplant, and the name of your cornea transplant physician. Send to:
    Family Services Manager
    SightLife
    1200 6th Ave, Ste 300
    Seattle, WA 98101
  • Also, please keep the following in mind. Although most donor families welcome correspondence from recipients, they are coping with the loss of their loved one and are still in the grieving process. Please communicate in a sensitive manner. Some donor families may respond right away while others may choose not to write at this time. The Family Services Manager will review all letters to ensure confidentiality and then forward them to the donor family. Please allow extra time in the event your correspondence is time sensitive.

Hearing from your donor family

Donor families are also given the opportunity to write to the recipient (If you do receive a letter from your donor family, we recommend the following:

  • Pick a quiet time when you can give it your full attention.
  • Pick a quiet place without distractions.
  • Think about having someone there to support you.