Letters of Loss and Hope.

From a Recipient to a Donor Family:

Dear Cornea Donor Family,
I am delighted to be able to thank you for this generous gift. It has made a world of difference in my sight. It will allow me to continue my work as a physician to help other people in their time of sickness and need! I promise to make good use of it every day and keep your dear departed in my thoughts - Thanks again.

From a Donor Family to a Recipient:

Hello,
Once again my husband and I have had an anniversary. The passing of our son brings to mind those who received the gifts of sight and mobility. It is a comfort to know he lives on his recipients. We take great pride in being volunteers for organ, eye and tissue donation programs. We share our story and encourage others to become donors. Thank You.

From a Donor Family to a Recipient:

Today we received a letter from the Lions Eye Bank of Oregon, informing us that my husband's donation resulted in a corneal transplant. What tremendous satisfaction we received by knowing that our loss has resulted in a gain for someone else. It is the hope of our family that you will now have a chance to see the world, enjoy a child's grin, and look into the eyes of someone who loves you as much as we love our departed.

From a Donor Spouse to Multiple Recipients:

Dear Recipients,
I am pleased to learn that two corneal transplants were received. I pray they were a great success. As heart-wrenching as my son's death is, I am overwhelmed by the privilege of a living memorial to him and for you to love the gift of sight. God bless you.

From a Recipient to a Donor Family:

Dear Donor Family,
I am a recipient of the contribution made by your loved one. I first want to express my condolences for your loss. My own father passed away several years ago and was a donor himself. I never knew how his contribution turned out. Hopefully by this letter you can have some sense of the enormous contribution your loved one has made to me and my family. I have children and grandchildren who I used to delight in photographing, but because of my vision problems, I had stopped even using a camera. After this gift of vision I have gone out and bought a ridiculously expensive camera to celebrate.

From a Recipient to a Donor Family:

My name is Lynda and I received the most wonderful and precious gift from your loved one, the gift of sight. My heart aches for your loss. I think of your loved one everyday, and I renew my vow to live up to this gift. I have made a vow to you, my donor, that I was pay this gift forward. I have registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor. I also vow that I will advocate for donation, so that your wonderful gift will continue to give for years to come. Because of you, I am training to become a volunteer speaker for a local agency that registers people for the National Registry. To my donor family, I think of everyday and hope that my gratitude will help to ease a bit of your pain.

From a Recipient to a Donor Family:

I just received a very nice letter - it was quite a surprise when I opened the Lions Eye Bank envelope, simply expecting a solicitation for a donation. Instead I found your letter. Thank you for sharing your description of who my donor was. I can take my dogs for walks again, see my son perform in the symphony, read tons of books from the library, see our six grandkids, enjoy seeing the stars at night and the birds in the day. Though I am young for this transplant, in my early 50's, I had become an older person - I am now enjoying life the way someone my age, if they are so blessed, is able to.

From a Donor to a Recipient:

I am writing to share with you just a little bit about my son, Nathan, who shared the gift of sight with you - something he would have gladly done... it was his nature and his personality. He was a wonderful son, a dad, brother, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin and friend to many. People have commented to him on his beautiful gray eyes since he was born, and I'm proud that there were able to give you the gift of sight. Many blessings.

From a Recipient to a Donor Family:

To my Lions VisionGift Donor Family,
I am so thankful your family who suffered such a devastating loss chose to reach out beyond your grief to give other people such precious gifts. I recently received a cornea from your loved one. Besides a great improvement in my vision, I feel your generosity helps me strive for more purpose in my own life. Thank you again and my warmest wishes for all of you. Sincerely, The Recipient

From a Recipient to a Donor Family:

Dear Donor Family,
Today I am having a cornea transplant. I am 38-years-old, and I have a disease called kerataconus. This disease makes it impossible to see the way most people do. I can only imagine the pain you must feel at the loss of your loved one and I am so sorry. I wish I could have known them the way you did - the laughter, the joy, and the sorrow, which inevitably touches all lives. But today some of that sorrow is being transformed. Because your loved one was willing to be an organ donor, I will have normal vision for the first time in my life. A part of your loved one will continue on, bringing with it new hopes and dreams. I will always be grateful to you and them for this precious gift. Sincerely, Your thankful recipient