Saturday, March 04, 2006

The eyes have it...

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Eyes courtesy of my daughter, Cristin.

March is Eye Donor Month. Your vision may be less than perfect, but you can still help fight against blindness. All you have to do is 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, including almost 3,000 residents of Illinois and Michigan. 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. Christine McGrane, a donor family member, says, "Saying yes to donation was an easy choice because it was exactly what Rickie would have done. It's hard to let go, but it helps to know that Rickie is helping other people and making their lives better, just as he always did."

According to Janet Terra, a 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.

dena at 11:32 AM

9comments

9 Comments

at 4:07 PM Blogger kenju said...

Tell your daughter I think her eyes are beautiful! I am an organ donor - anything they can use - they can have. I have told mr. kenju that after they take any organ they need, he can give my body to a medical school for study, and cremate whatever is left after that.

 
at 6:38 PM Blogger NaeNae said...

I have always been an oragn donor. My stepfather actually had the cornea transplant.

 
at 12:15 PM Anonymous deana said...

Wow, Cristin has gorgeous eyes!

I need to re-do mine, right now I am not a donor of any kind. I keep meaning to change it to allow for certain organ donations and have a living will done...2 things important for my to do list.

Thanks for the reminder.

 
at 12:18 PM Blogger zazzafooky said...

I've always been a donor too and after much debate and pursasion, finally convinced my husband that he needed to climb on board with little pink sticker on the DL.

 
at 5:07 PM Blogger sage said...

I've been a registered donor for 30 years--and I hope to be a registered donor for another 50 years. Being a registered donor is preferrable to being a donor, but I'm sure my luck won't hold out forever...

 
at 5:10 AM Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Great & Important Post! I'm not a donor as yet, but I plan to be one, and soon...Thanks for giving me a reminder to do what I really want to do.

 
at 8:29 AM Anonymous Claude said...

The good news is that I've been a registered donor for, oh, it seems like forever now.

The bad news is that I plan to have all of my parts pretty near worn-out by the time I'm done with them.

And Deana is right about Cristin's eyes.

 
at 8:53 AM Blogger Alisha said...

Organ donation is such a vital decision. While I know everyone has differing opinions, I just can't help not understanding how someone could not want to be an organ donor.

I assisted in a corneal harvest in school, and have always wondered where those precious things ended up, and who's life they changed.

 
at 11:02 AM Blogger Dirk the Feeble said...

YEESH - couldn't I just donate some eyeglasses instead?

 

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