Donor Family Services. Promoting Healing and Peace for Organ and Tissue Donor Families

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1 Donor Family Services Promoting Healing and Peace for Organ and Tissue Donor Families

2 LifeNet established a Donor Family Services program in 1990 as a critical part of its mission. Our goal is to provide support services to grieving donor families to help them on their journey to healing. LifeNet is in a privileged position to help grieving families. Families often find meaning in the midst of tragedy when a loved one s organs and tissues are used to save or enhance the lives of others. In addition, LifeNet serves a unique role in honoring the lives of loved ones long after friends, and even family, have forgotten. In 1998, LifeNet hired permanent staff to work exclusively with donor family support. This brochure describes some of the activities designed to help donor families in their journey from intense grief to healing and, finally, peace in their lives.

3 You people have continued to let me know you are still thinking of me after others never call again. Thank you for your kindness. Sharon Whisten, Staunton, VA LifeNet is my only connection to my husband and my past. Both were good and bring me peace and happiness. Thank you for keeping in touch. Julene Rogers, Largo, FL

4 The support and information seem to come at just the right times and we would like to thank LifeNet for all the support and caring. Charmaine Malik, Belle Haven, VA

5 A Void In 1990, LifeNet knew its mission must include caring for organ and tissue donor families, 1990Filling long after the death of their loved one. A tiny committee of donor families and LifeNet staff built the foundation for what would become a leading donor family support program nationally. LifeNet has the utmost respect for the compassionate decisions of donor families, and we will make every effort to help them through their grief journey. When others forget, LifeNet remembers.

6 B Serving With Compassion Beginning with sensitive and compassionate discussions by transplant coordinators at the time of a loved one's death, LifeNet establishes a caring relationship with donor families. Three full time advocates serve each organ and tissue donor family with a formal bereavement support program. Regional grief support is available through the Virginia Beach, Richmond, and Roanoke LifeNet Offices.

7 I had been to the chapel many times trying to find an answer. It came in the form of a LifeNet transplant coordinator who asked me about organ donation. Sandy Clarke, Richmond, VA

8 The spirituality and grief workshop was the most support I have received since I lost my mom. Sharon SchrEIber, Hampton, VA

9 Healing From Loss TThe formal caring program provides regular correspondence and grief literature for 18 months following the donation decision. A grief journal helps families adjust. Workshops and seminars focus on child, teen, gender, and spirituality issues of grief. Special commemorations of organ and tissue donation are given as symbols of the fulfillment of hope. Crisis counselors are available for complicated grief situations.

10 D Honoring Loved Ones Donor tribute events help us remember. Quilts of love commemorate special lives. Commemorative projects become family treasures. Electronic scrolls of donor names are daily reminders of LifeNet's constant recognition of organ and tissue donors.

11 Thank you for the follow-up and compassion. You have given me a gift every time my son's name is mentioned. LifeNet is a great organization. Dean Savannah, Melfa, VA

12 LifeNet's coordination of the meeting with my father's heart recipient was excellent and caring. I have no words to express my gratitude. Olga Rodriguez, Kill Devil Hills, NC

13 DCommunicating Comfort and Hope Donor families and transplant recipients are encouraged to correspond with one another. Meetings between donor families and recipients are arranged. Upon request, donor families receive updates on the health of recipients and the results of tissue donation.

14 T Encouraging The Donor Family Friends group help families Peace Through Sharing overcome grief by listening to the newly bereaved. The LifeNet e-group, an internet discussion group, is available for families to share stories with one another. Special features and contributions to the Donor Family Quarterly newsletter provide another means to recognizing the loss. Public education opportunities allow families to promote organ and tissue donation.

15 I tell everyone I know about a miracle called LifeNet. Love you guys. Joan Cronin, Richmond, VA

16 While it has been difficult to find anything positive to come out of this, I am now a different, but better, person. Pam Walk, Tazewell, VA

17 T Promoting Faith For The Future Donor Family Advisory Committees help guide programming. The LifeNet Memorial Foundation funds many donor family programs and community initiatives.. An annual donor family coordinated golf tournament, an art auction, and memorial gifts provide resources for workshops, donor family grief literature and community support groups.

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19 No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately. Elie Wiesel

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