What is a cornea?

The cornea is the front clear part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power. It imparts the greatest focusing power of all the ocular media. The cornea is composed of five distinguishable layers: epithelium, Bowman’s membrane, the stroma, Descemet’s membrane and the endothelium.

Who can be an eye donor?

Anyone who wishes to donate may be an Eye Donor. Tissue used for transplants primarily comes from donors aged 2 to 70, but any age tissue may be used for medical research or education.

Will the quality of medical treatment be affected if I choose to be a donor?

Absolutely not! There are many false myths about the quality of healthcare being affected by donation, and they are not true. Eye donation is a consideration only after death has been pronounced and documented. A donor card or decision to donate does not impact patient treatment.

Is there a fee for donating?

No. There is no cost to you or your family for donating. Costs associated with cornea donations are covered by the Eye Bank.

Will eye donation affect the appearance of the donor?

In general, eye donation does not affect the appearance of the donor, nor does it deny the family the option of an open-casket viewing.

Giving opportunities

Gratis Tissue Program

When a local doctor calls the Eye Bank because his or her patient is in need of a cornea transplant but doesn’t have the resources to pay, the Eye Bank provides gratis (or donated) tissue to support their surgery. The Eye Bank believes ability to pay should never be a barrier to a person’s ability to see. Requests for gratis tissue continue to increase, and the Eye Bank needs financial support to provide quality tissue for those in need.

The Endowment Fund

A Gene Polgar Fellowship is the highest honor of the Endowment Fund. When an individual or group donates $1,000 or more, they are presented with a lapel pin, an inscribed crystal award that recognizes them as a PID Gene Polgar Fellow and an inscription on a plaque prominently displayed in the Eye Bank’s office entry foyer.

Fellows may extend their commitment to the Eye Bank by becoming a Progressive Fellow. The Endowment Fund also receives the proceeds from the sale of Lions Club Pins. If you know a pin trader or collector who would like to donate new or inactive pins, please refer them to the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley. The Eye Bank is represented at Lions Clubs International Trading Pin Club (LCITPC) events.

Life Membership

A non-transferrable life membership is granted to any individual who makes a contribution of $100 or more. Life members receive an embossed membership card and gold lapel pin.

Planned giving

After providing for your loved ones, consider making a lasting difference by making a gift to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley in your will. Simply name Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley as a beneficiary when writing your will or, if you already have a will, add a codicil amending it to include us.

For your convenience, we’ve provided language you may use in your estate plan:

“I give, devise and bequeath to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization located at 401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305, Philadelphia, PA 19123, EIN 23-1513699, [insert here the sum or percentage] for its unrestricted general use and purposes.”

Consult your attorney, tax advisor or financial advisor before making a bequest.

The Giving Tree Fund

Create a tribute or memorial. Consider contributing to the Giving Tree Fund and have your donation recognized in a choice of inscriptions. The tree is adorned with leaves of bronze ($200 donation), silver ($300 donation) and gold ($500 donation) and beautiful, large faux stones ($1000 donation).

The Giving Tree is a permanent fixture prominently displayed in the Eye Bank’s foyer.

Paying it forward

At three years old, Cameron Whittle began experiencing photosensitivity, eye irritation, draining and swelling. At 13, Cameron was diagnosed with keratoconus and, over time, the disease led to vision loss and cornea tissue scarring.

In 2014, after completing his freshman year at Goldey-Beacom, Cameron had a successful transplant surgery and regained vision in his left eye.

In 2018, Cameron was selected by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) as the face for National Eye Donation Month, representing cornea transplant recipients from across the country and advocating eye donation!

Sign up for our
25th Annual
Gift of Sight Charity Golf Classic

Monday, August 12th, 2019