Share The Light

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”- Albert Schweitzer

“Share the Light” allows cornea recipients to say “thank you” to the donors who selflessly have given the gift of sight.

If you are a cornea recipient, you may choose to write to your donor’s family to express your gratitude for the generosity of their loved one’s gift. This “Share the Light” information is designed to help you in composing a note of thanks to your donor family who has lost a loved one. Many donor families have said a card or personal note from the recipient offers great comfort and is cherished by them.

Following sight-giving surgery, some recipients find it difficult to adequately express their thanks. Based on our experience, just a simple “thank you” note can provide real solace and healing to your donor’s family.

And so, we encourage you to participate in this “Share the Light” project by sending an electronic message (see below), greeting card or personal letter to your donor family. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are kept confidential, unless both parties agree to they wish to reveal their identifying information.

Below is a guide to help you compose your correspondence of thanks.

We hope that your words will help reinforce the importance of corneal donation, eye banking and vision research within our community. With your help, Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank and your eye surgeon can continue to provide state of the art eye care for all patients.

Thank you for your participation in relaying thanks to those who helped provide you with the gift of sight.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank department of Family Services at vowens@dcids.org or 916.678.6035 in California or rschenk@dcids.org or 615.564.3638 in Tennessee.

Composing Your “Thank You”

  • Begin by expressing your condolences on the death of their loved one.
  • Express your gratitude for the gift of sight.
  • Your general occupation or whether you are attending school.
  • Your marital status, children or grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc… (do not include last names).
  • Share your hobbies or interests that you are now able to enjoy because of your transplant.
  • Explain how the transplant has changed your life.
  • Since the religion of the donor’s family is unknown, please consider this before you include religious comments.
  • Sign your first name only
  • Please do not reveal your address, phone number, or email address.
  • Please do not reveal the name of your physician.

Sample Letter:

Dear Donor Family:

I am writing to say thank you to you and your loved one, for your kind and generous gift of sight. I am so sorry for your loss and while I know that my gratitude does not erase your pain, I want you to know how much this gift means to me.

I needed a cornea transplant because…

After receiving the transplant I am now able to…

For this I am forever grateful to you and your loved one. Your compassion, kindness and generosity will always be remembered.

Thank you,

Your first name only

Will My Donor Family Write Back?

You may or may not hear from your donor family.

Some donor family members have said that writing about their loved one and their decision to donate helps in the grieving process. Other donor families, although comfortable with their decision to donate, prefer privacy and choose not to respond. Still others may take several months or years before they feel comfortable responding.

E-mail or Mail Your Thank You.

Submit your “thank you” via e-mail here.

OR write your thank you in a card or letter, print out the form below and place both in an envelope addressed to:

Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank

1760 Creekside Oaks Drive, #220

Sacramento, CA 95833