March 2014 Is National Eye Donor Month
Philadelphia, PA--First proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, National Eye Donor Month promotes eye donation awareness and celebrates the lives of eye donors and corneal recipients. This year, Representative Aaron Schock (IL-18) entered a proclamation into the record of the U.S. House of Representatives, declaring March 2014 as National Eye Donor Month. Past sponsors of these proclamations include Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), a bilateral cornea recipient.
Locally, the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley (LEBDV), www.lebdv.org, the region’s Eye Bank, has coordinated over 35,000 sight-saving cornea transplant operations, since its inception in 1957. Last year, approximately 1000 cornea transplant surgeries were coordinated by the LEBDV.
According to Jim Quirk, "For over 57 years, Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley has served the communities of southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and the entire state of Delaware. Our work as an accredited eye bank is critical and ensures transplantable tissue is available when needed. Cornea donors and their families who unselfishly say ‘yes’ to cornea donation are truly heroes as without their generosity transplantation would not happen; there is no substitute for the human cornea." Quirk is President of the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley and international director of the Eye Bank Association of America.
"Telling your family your wishes is a good first step in helping those in need of a transplant," said Quirk. "Designate yourself as a donor on your driver’s license--another way to help your family through any important end-of-life decisions."
National Eye Donor Month is spear-headed by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). EBAA (www.restoresight.org) is the oldest transplantation association in the United States. LEBDV is a member of EBAA.