Organ and Tissue Donor Family Resources

Versiti Organ and Tissue’s Aftercare Program provides ongoing support to organ, tissue and eye donor families.

Versiti Organ and Tissue Aftercare Program

Advisor consoling a patient

Versiti Organ and Tissue’s Aftercare Program is dedicated to providing support to donor families during donation and up to 12 months following donation. We offer an array of resources on loss; information about organ, tissue and eye donation; and donor recognition items to aid families throughout the healing process.

Katie Banik
Aftercare Liaison

Versiti Organ and Tissue is happy to provide a number of informational handouts to help donor families cope with the loss of a loved one, better understand organ and tissue donation, and figure out what to do next.

Threads of Compassion is a volunteer group that knits and crochets comfort shawls for donor families. It was established in 2005 by a donor mother who sought a way to support other donor families and bring them comfort during a time of grief. With each loop and stitch, volunteers weave positive thoughts of healing, hope and love into each shawl. Versiti Organ and Tissue offers comfort shawls to donor families at the time of their loved one’s donation. Learn more about Threads of Compassion and volunteering with Versiti.

Occasionally, we provide donor families the opportunity to participate in various events, celebrations and memorial/remembrance programs, including a Donor Family Celebration, Gift of Life Governor’s Ceremony and more.

Versiti Organ and Tissue moderates a private Facebook group to allow organ, tissue and eye donor families to connect, share stories and support each other. Visit the Versiti Organ and Tissue Donor Family Group on Facebook, click “Join,” and answer the membership questions.

Cream City 5K

In addition to supporting donor families at various events, Versiti Organ and Tissue invites donor families to participate in the Cream City 5K (CC5K), a family-friendly 5K run/walk. The CC5K was founded by Jesse Pagels, an avid runner, leukemia survivor and double-lung transplant recipient, as a way to raise awareness and support for organ, tissue and eye donation. Proceeds from the CC5K fund efforts to further enhance Versiti Organ and Tissue programs.

 

Yes. For organ donor families, basic information about the recipient(s) of your loved one’s organ(s) will automatically be mailed to you within eight weeks of your loved one’s donation.

For tissue donor families, information will only be provided when requested. Due to the processes required to ensure that your loved one’s gifts can be used in a safe, effective way, obtaining information about tissue recipients may take 13-15 months post-donation.

Yes. The decision to write to the recipient(s) of your loved one’s organ(s) is personal and can be an opportunity to share information about your family and your loved one. There is no time limit for writing a letter, and you may do it when you are ready.

Versiti Organ and Tissue will facilitate initial contact via the transplant center where the organ transplant took place, maintaining donor and recipient privacy and confidentiality. Before direct communication between donor families and recipients may take place, the donor family and organ recipient(s) must have written each other a letter, and both must sign a release form.

Learn more about writing to organ recipients

Unlike organ and eye donation, where recipients are identified immediately, tissue may not be transplanted for up to five years. Because of this, tissue recipients must initiate contact with donor families. If your loved one’s tissue recipient(s) writes a letter that include their addresses and submits it to our tissue partner, donor families have the opportunity to respond, if they choose. Whether or not your loved one’s tissue recipient(s) chooses to write, your loved one’s generosity will always be remembered.

 
Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
Learn more about how to sign up as an organ, tissue and eye donor and how organ donation saves and enhances lives in our communities.
 
Financial Giving
Versiti Blood Research Institute Foundation accepts financial and philanthropic gifts from donors, which helps to propel lifesaving research.
 
Volunteering with Versiti
Versiti volunteers provide an invaluable service to our lifesaving mission. Learn more about Versiti’s volunteer services and how you can serve your community.
 
Ways to Give
You can support Versiti’s mission in several ways, including donating blood, hosting a blood drive, joining the organ and tissue donor registry, and more.