News & Events

Friday, February 28, 2020

Today’s Favorite Friend Friday is someone who has completely changed LEBDV for the better and opened the doors to so many recipients and donor families.

Jerilyn Giardina, a Shippensburg University alumna, has been with Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley for five years. Prior to her arrival, the eye bank did not have much communication with recipients. Jerilyn realized how impactful personal stories could be for people and began involving recipients more and more.

Jerilyn created the recipient kits that all eye surgeons now have in their offices. These kits get sent home with recipients post transplantation to help educate them about the eye bank, where their tissue came from, and how to reach out to their donor family.

Through these recipient kits, we have met countless of incredible recipients and donor families and listened to their inspiring stories that would have otherwise went unheard.

Jerilyn has also worked tirelessly on creating impactful events that really emphasis the life-changing impact of corneal transplantation. The Annual Cornea Transplant Recipient Luncheon is one of these events. Next month will be the fifth year of this incredible event where recipients and donor families come together to share stories and learn from one another.

From the annual forSight newsleter to the Phillies tailgates, we could go on and on about all of Jerilyn’s amazing work and how much she means to this organization.

Jerilyn is currently at home with her beautiful baby boy, Elliot Henry Giardina! She and her husband, Nick, welcomed Elliot into the world on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. We could not be more happy or excited for her and her family.

Thank you for all you do for this organization every single day Jerilyn! We can’t wait to see you and Elliot very soon!

Friday, February 07, 2020

This week’s Favorite Friend Friday is a recipient we first met when she reached out to her donor’s family. Julie Hart, from Dowingtown, PA, is a mom of three and a software test engineer. Fittingly enough, she is also the daughter of Lion Charlie Hennessey from the Eagleville-Trooper Lions Club. Her life took a turn she would never forget in March of 2015.

“I scratched my cornea while using contacts which caused an ulcer in my eye,” Julie recalls. She started out at her local ophthalmologist but was soon referred to a corneal specialist in West Chester. Her regimen of constant eye drops continued to no avail, and was finally sent to Wills Eye Hospital in June 2015 where she was officially diagnosed with acanthamoeba, a rare corneal disease.

By the time Julie got to Wills Eye, the infection had been persisting for three months already. “I had no vision out of my left eye,” Julie remembers of that time. “Prior to my infection I was driving a school bus part time, but now I had to stay at home. I was so sensitive to light—I couldn’t go outside, be on the computer, watch TV. I no longer could do any of the things I used to enjoy. It was debilitating.”

Almost a year after the initial infection, in February of 2016, Julie received a cornea transplant in her left eye. Since then, she has been able to get back to a normal routine, spending time with her family and friends, and going back to work. We are all so excited to have her as our guest speaker at District 14-P’s Sight Night next month!

“Don’t hesitate to think about donating,” Julie says as she thinks about the selfless gift a stranger gave to her. “It is so valuable and so appreciated.”

Previous Posts

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

Monday, August 12th, 2019