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You can get a wealth of additional information about the liver, liver diseases, and liver transplants, from the following national organizations, including:

Thanking Your Donor’s Family

Organ recipients often want to know where their new organ came from, who saved their lives. And families that donate their relative’s organs sometimes want to know who benefited from them. But the identity of the recipients and the donor is kept confidential to protect the privacy of each party.

However, letters of gratitude from recipients to their donors’ families are encouraged and common and do not violate the policy of maintaining the right to privacy. The transplant center (such as Strong Health) and the OPO (Organ Procurement Organization – FLDRN (Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network) is the OPO for Rochester, Syracuse, and the Finger Lakes Region) that arranged the transplant will send your letter, with all names removed. They will also give you any responses from the donor’s family, again, with all names removed.

Sometimes, after exchanging letters, families do choose to meet in person. In this case, both parties must agree to waive their right to privacy. If either party is uncomfortable with this, no meeting can be arranged. But if both parties do waive their privacy rights, they will be given each other’s names and addresses and can then make their own arrangements.

If you do write a letter to the family of your donor, don’t be surprised if you don’t get a response. Although your letter may bring great joy to the donor’s family, it may take them a while – months or even years – before they feel ready to write. Everyone grieves differently.