March is Eye Donor Month 
Nobody's Perfect, But Eye & Organ Donors Do Something Perfectly Wonderful 
Your 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. 
Even 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 live on.
The 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."
According 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."
Please take time to consider how you feel about eye, organ and tissue donation. Most importantly, share your decision with family and discuss their wishes as well.
Make 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 else.

Join 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.

The National Donor Registry
When 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. 
Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin
The 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
The 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.
In 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 status.
In 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
Other Eye Banks

Give the Gift of Sight

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