Writing to your living donor

By letter, card or email - We're here to support you

Key points

  • Communication is not expected, but is appreciated by living donors
  • We understand that there are many reasons why some transplant recipients feel unable to write
  • Your donor will be able to choose when to open your correspondence, at a time that is right for them
  • It’s never too early or late to write

Before you start

Writing to the family of a donor who donated after death?

There is a separate process for this.

See how it works

Why write?

Writing to your anonymous living donor or to someone who has donated to you as part of the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme is often very much appreciated.

We understand that writing your letter, card or email can be a very emotional and challenging experience and we're here to support you. 

Watch our video to hear from people who have written and received letters themselves.  

What is the process?

  1. Write your letter, card or email. Avoid sharing any information that would make you personally identifiable
  2. Your correspondence will be read by the living donor coordinator, to check it doesn’t reveal identifiable information
  3. A photocopy is kept on file for future reference
  4. The living donor coordinator will match your correspondence with your donor
  5. Your living donor will be told that your correspondence is available to them
  6. If your donor wishes to receive your correspondence, it will be forwarded in a separate envelope to be opened at their discretion

What to write

Things to consider

Feel free to include information about your social life, hobbies, children or partner if you would like to.

If you are a transplant recipient, you don't need to explain how you came to need a transplant to your living donor unless you want to.

If you cannot find words of your own, we have some suggestions that may help you with what you want to say.

Download our suggested wording (PDF, 62KB)

What not to include

Your correspondence with your living donor should not contain any identifiable information, such as:

  • Your surname
  • Your address, or the name of your town or city
  • Your place or company of work
  • The name of the hospital in which the donation or transplant took place

This is to ensure both you and your donor are able to remain anonymous. 

Breaking anonymity

If you would like your donor to know your identity, you can make a request through your living donor coordinator. Your donor can do the same but neither of you are under any pressure to say yes.

If both you and your donor agree to break anonymity, contact details can be exchanged between you both, through your living donor coordinators.

Where to send your correspondence

Further support

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