One of the most gratifying parts of our job is the opportunity to connect donor families with their loved ones recipients. Those who make the decision to reach out are opening up in a very personal way, so correspondence typically begins with anonymous letters sent through LifeCenter Northwest and a social worker at the recipient’s transplant center.
The process is always handled with compassion and care and is often an extremely cathartic and healing experience for both parties. For donor families, hearing first-hand the impact of their loved one’s gift may help lessen the pain of their grief journey. For recipients, it provides an opportunity to say thank you for their second chance at life.
The excerpt below is part of a touching letter written by donor daughter Jennipher Lorber to her mother’s recipients.
“My name is Jennipher and I am the daughter of Deb who was your organ donor. I have been wanting to write this letter for some time but have been at a loss of words or what to say. I didn’t know if you would want to hear from me, but then I came to the conclusion that I needed to do this for myself and my own healing. I need to tell you about how wonderful my mom was and what an amazing gift you received from her because of her selflessness and loving nature.
How do I sum up 64 years of her life in one letter to explain to you how incredible she was? If there are 2 words I would use to describe my mom it would be LOYAL and FUN. She was just so fun. She and I were the dynamic duo. Everyone told us that they didn’t know anyone who had a mother/daughter relationship like we had. We were infectious and full of love and laughter.
She gave back to the community in so many ways. She donated to a ton of charities, she was part of the PEO Sisters program, she was an exchange student coordinator helping place exchange students into American homes, she was a Realtor, she was a sister, a wife to her high school sweetheart and the most perfect mother on the planet!
She was such a loving and selfless person even down to donating her organs. She was such a healthy person. She had zero health issues, which is why it was such a shock when she passed. It was a freak accident and I’m happy to tell you about it one day if you would like to hear. As a result of her being so healthy, they were able to donate many of her organs to many different recipients including you. I supposed this gives me some small comfort that she lives on somewhere out there.
If you suddenly find yourself loving harder, smiling more and craving wine that is most likely Deb coming through. Just enjoy it. She would want you to. We always told each other “I love you as big as the world is round”. Please pass this love on and pay it forward. You have received an incredible gift.”
These heartfelt words were received with warmth from her mother’s kidney recipient Ralph Starmer, and recently Jennipher had the opportunity to meet Ralph and his wife. The get together could not have been better, and the two were instantly bonded.
Seeing the two sides of donation come together in this way is truly heartwarming and an experience that keeps us motivated to do what we do each day. We strive to help donor families and recipients find solace in their correspondence and the lifesaving gift that brought them together. Click here to visit our correspondence webpage for more information on connecting with your loved one’s recipient or your donor’s family.