Hi, now my transplant is done I'm very keen to write to my donor but I have no idea how I go about doing this? Can you help or do I need to speak to team at the hospital? Many thanks
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I got in touch with my donor about 3months after transplant, I wrote a letter which I gave to my transplant nurse coordinator, she forwarded it on to Anthony Nolan, they then sent it onto to my donor. It was a simple letter saying thank you and letting the donor know that my whole family were grateful and that at that stage all was going well.
For the first 2 years post transplant donor and recipient identities are anonymous.
I received a reply from my donor a few weeks later, I was back in hospital with pneumonia and had just spent a week in critical care, receiving a reply from my donor was an amazing experience, he made light of what he had done and said he would always be there for me if I needed any more stem cells.
We kept in touch and when 2 years had passed we both agreed to exchange personal details which we did with the help of Anthony Nolan. We met up last year and I was able to thank him personally, it was a wonderful occasion for us both.
Anthony Nolan have information on their web site about contacting donors and will help you with making contact with yours. Also your transplant staff should help. Anthony Nolan advise that you should not identify yourself in any correspondence for two years.
I did a post on my experience of meeting my donor with Anthony Nolan under the 'Latest news' section dated 7 th January 2015.
I would say I was pleased I made contact with my donor and there are postings on this forum from a donor who gives his experience.
I would say that most donors would be pleased to hear how their recipient is doing.
Hope this helps, do drop your donor a note. Let me know if I can help further.
As Peter says there is quite a bit of information on the Anthony Nolan website about donor contact that is worth a look. For the first two years everything has to be kept anonymous but that doesn't stop you writing. Your letter mustn't contain any details about you that might identify you and will be vetted before being passed on to your donor.
I wrote to my donor about 6 months after my transplant as I wanted things to settle down and my recovery to be well advanced so that I could pass on good news. I felt it was important to let them know I was OK and of course to thank them, though a thank you in a letter alone seems nowhere near adequate.
I didn't hear back from my donor, but I accept that some do not want further contact. For me I'm glad I wrote to them and thanked them for what they did and I'm sure we all feel the same.