“Try to imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly stricken blind today. Picture yourself stumbling and groping at noonday as in the night—your work, your independence, gone.” (Helen Keller)
The specter of blindness haunts people of all ages--the young in the unstable teen years when life even in good health presents so many terrifying and unknown threats--the young marrieds who must support a growing family--the middle-aged who are at the peak of their careers--the elderly who often face retirement alone, and lonely.
Thanks to eye donors and their families, the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank can help. The eye bank helps restore sight by providing donated eye tissue for transplant and research. The eye bank also provides education about donation to professionals and to the public.
“The morning after the transplant, the right eye sees nothing whole. On the tenth day, sharp lines and vivid colors emerge from the bathroom wallpaper. Then texture creeps out of a plaster wall. My favorite tree grows twigs, right in the dead of winter.” (John, cornea recipient)
Donated corneas (clear front of the eye covering the iris) restore people's sight and improve their quality of life. Donor corneas help patients suffering from cornea disease, cornea infections, irreparable trauma to the cornea, chemical burns to the eye, and congenital defects of the cornea. Donor sclera (white of the eye) is an integral part of some glaucoma surgeries. More than 40,000 Americans need cornea transplants every year.
“I see 20/20 for 12 hours a day, a gift beyond the telling. My combined vision is the best I’ve enjoyed for a quarter century…I can see the future again.” (Cindy, cornea recipient)
Thanks to eye donors and their families, scientists and educators learn more about diseases like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. They are able to develop new medications and identify sight-saving treatments and cures. Surgeons depend on donor eye tissue to develop new surgical techniques and practice and perfect eye surgeries. More than 20,000 eyes are donated annually for research and education.
Please help our programs by making a financial donation or by committing to donate your organs, tissues, and eyes. You can give the Gift of Life and Sight.
“It’s a life-altering event. I see better than I ever have in my life. Period.” (Carol, cornea recipient)