March is Eye Donor Month
Nobody's Perfect, But Eye & Organ Donors
Do Something Perfectly Wonderful
vision may be less than perfect, but you can still help fight against blindness.
During March, which Congress has declared Eye Donor Month, sign the back
of your driver's license or join the online donor registry and, most importantly,
tell your family about your decision.
though you wear glasses, your corneas can be recovered after death to help
restore sight to people in need. Thousands of people receive a sight-restoring
corneal transplant every year. But before anyone can benefit from this
procedure there must be a donor -- someone who can see beyond the end of
his or her own life to make these precious gifts available for those who
Eye-Bank helps make the Gift of Sight possible by bringing together corneal
tissue donors and the people for whom a corneal transplant is literally
a second chance for sight. In addition to providing corneal tissue for
transplantation, the Eye-Bank offers the Gift of Hope, supporting early
stage eye and vision research that works toward a cure for all blinding
eye disease. The Eye-Bank also works to educate the public about the ongoing
need for eye donors. It's not surprising that the people who have direct
experience with donation and transplantation speak about it most eloquently.
A donor family member, says, "Saying yes to donation was an easy choice
because it was exactly what my husband would have done. It's hard to let
go, but it helps to know that he is helping other people and making their
lives better, just as he always did."
to another corneal transplant recipient, "It's miraculous. I don't need
glasses. I wear a single contact lens and I see better than a 10-year-old.
The donors and their families do such wonderful things for people like
me. Unlike other organ donation, my donors may not have literally saved
my life, but they certainly restored my ability to live."
take time to consider how you feel about eye, organ and tissue donation.
Most importantly, share your decision with family and discuss their wishes
Your Wishes Known and Make a Difference
Placing your name in the registry is the
best way to ensure your wishes to be a donor are carried out. When you
resolve to be a donor, you really are doing something wonderful for someone
the Donor Registry
The Donor Registry is a confidential 24-hour-a-day
computerized database that documents your wishes regarding eye, organ and
tissue donation. Your donor registry information will be available to the
hospital and your family at the time of your death, and will assist your
family in making a decision when asked about eye, organ and tissue donation.
National Donor Registry
it isn't possible to give the Gift of Sight through corneal transplantation,
the Eye-Bank offers the Gift of Hope by supporting preliminary research
into the causes of blinding eye diseases.
Eye Bank of Wisconsin
Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, Inc. was developed through the leadership
of the Wisconsin Lions Foundation, with membership throughout the State
of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Lions Foundation, Wisconsin Lions and Lioness
Clubs, and the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, Inc. have as their mission
statement the support of programs which assist others in maintaining the
gift of sight
first program in the State of Wisconsin to assist the medical community
in regard to the need for donated ocular tissue for transplant began in
1953 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through the Milwaukee Eye Bank. It was sponsored
by Marquette University Medical School. In 1964, the Milwaukee Eye
Bank was taken over by the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and was renamed the
Wisconsin Lions Eye Bank. In 1969, a separate eye bank facility in
Madison, Wisconsin, was started with similar goals to the Milwaukee program,
and it was administered through the University of Wisconsin and University
Hospitals and Clinics. Two eye banks in the State of Wisconsin divided
areas of assistance based on geographical and demographic considerations.
1998, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation, which had been the principal support
organization for both the Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Wisconsin Lions Eye Bank),
and the Madison, Wisconsin (Wisconsin Eye Bank), assisted in the development
of a new eye bank for the State of Wisconsin, The Eyebank of Wisconsin,
Inc. This eye bank differed from the previous eye banks in the State of
Wisconsin in two major areas: (1) it was not affiliated for governance
purposes with any particular hospital, university, or college but is governed
by an independent corporation board of directors, and (2) its scope of
operation was broadened to encompass more hospitals and surgeons in the
State of Wisconsin than either of the two previous eye banks. The organization
is independent, non-profit and has been granted IRS 501C(c)3 charitable
June 2000, the name of the eye bank was changed to the Lions Eye Bank of
Wisconsin, Inc. recognizing the participatory and financial support provided
by Lions and Lioness members throughout the State of Wisconsin. In
August 2000, the eye bank laboratory and offices relocated to its current
facility on International Lane in Madison. This new facility provides
donor services and eye tissues for transplant, research, and education
throughout the State of Wisconsin
the Gift of Sight