News & Events

Friday, July 03, 2020

This week is a special Favorite Friend Friday featuring LEBDV’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees, PDG Earl Groendyke! Earl has been a part of the Lion’s Club since 1983 and has held various important positions during his time as a Lion. He has served as both Vice President and President of his local Lion’s Club, and eventually became a District Governor. After his time as District Governor, Earl became part of Lions Eye Research Foundation to help raise money for the research of eye diseases. Earl describes his fellow Lions as being very dedicated and supportive of each other and loves to be surrounded by such great people.

Earl was initially drawn into the Lion’s Club by his two brothers. They are both visually impaired and have some struggles with everyday life like being unable to obtain a driver’s license. He is proud to be part of an organization that can help individuals gain the gift of sight. Earl considers the most inspiring aspect of his work to be hearing the personal stories of both donors and transplant recipients. He believes there is a greater force than people can comprehend that creates the donor and transplant recipient relationships. Earl hopes that donation, especially cornea transplants, will receive more awareness and individuals will not take their sight for granted.

Earl is very excited for his transition from Board Member to Chair of the Board. While he is aware of the upcoming challenges that Covid-19 has brought to procedures at LEBDV, he is confident that with his talented Board Members and the amazing staff, there is nothing the Eye Bank cannot do.

When he is not working with the Lions, Earl enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren. He is passionate about cars and has been the president of the Dodge Brothers Club for the past four years. Earl was in the Marine Reserves for six years and attained the rank of Sergeant. He spent most of his career as a mason, eventually becoming a Master Mason, and even opened his own business for masonry work in 1979.

Being a Lion is about leading by example, building relationships and improving the world through kindness; Earl Groendyke definitely embodies all of these characteristics, and we are so honored to have him as the next Chair of the Board!

Thank you for all you do, Earl!

Written by Tara Korch

Friday, June 19, 2020

We are so honored to introduce Vicki Piccotti,an active part of LEBDV and a cornea transplant recipient, as this week’s Favorite Friend Friday! Vicki is a caring and compassionate individual which is exemplified through her dedication to her two children and life-long career as a registered nurse. Vicki worked for 45 years in various medical environments such as a senior care facility, a family practice and as a nurse at the school her children attended. Vicki is a talented skier and previously taught ski lessons at Shawnee Mountain. Currently, she is a part of Big Boulder Mountain’s ski patrol.

Vicki struggled with a virus infection in her left eye for many years and received consistent treatment for it. In 2011, she found out her cornea was so thin it could rupture, and had her first transplant scheduled within weeks. With no recovery issues, the first surgery went smoothly and her vision improved to 20/20 post surgery. A year later, Vicki had cataract surgery. In 2017, the infection came back, and Vicki had a partial transplant done; the second transplant proved to be a more difficult recovery, which led to Vicki’s third transplant in 2018. Although it was another challenging recovery process, serum tears—eye drops made from one’s own plasma—helped heal her eye after the third transplant.

Vicki is a strong and resilient woman who has embraced the challenges of her long transplant journey. There were many difficulties within her second and third transplant, but she did not let that affect her spirit. After her second transplant, Vicki went straight to Switzerland to ski the alps, despite having her eyelid glued shut for healing! Although she still struggles with her depth perception and driving in the dark, Vicki’s vision is mostly back to normal.

Vicki learned about Lion’s Eye Bank through her incredible eye surgeon, Dr. Hannush. After visiting the office for a tour, she was able to find information about her donor and saw the process come full circle. Vicki is so inspired by the incredible work accomplished at Lion’s Eye Bank and was especially impressed by the touching story of LEBDV providing cornea tissue to Simeon Edwards in Jamaica.

Vicki and her family try to support Lion’s Eye Bank whenever possible. She went to Salt Lake City in 2018 for the Transplant Games of America; the best part of Vicki’s experience was meeting people from around the world and across the country while spreading the positive effects that are the result of organ donation and transplantation. During the games, Vicki and her husband won six gol medals and two silver medals for ballroom dancing!

Understanding the importance of saying “yes” to organ donations, Vicki wants the community to know that although it is devastating when a loved one passes away, that person will live on by giving someone else the gift of sight or even life. Vicki is extremely grateful to her donor and her donor family for saying “yes” to donation during such a difficult time. Being a life-long health care worker, Vicki is certainly pro-donation and encourages everyone to speak up about eye, tissue and organ donation.

We are so honored to introduce Vicki Picotti,an active part of LEBDV and a cornea transplant recipient, as this week’s Favorite Friend Friday! Vicki is a caring and compassionate individual which is exemplified through her dedication to her two children and life-long career as a registered nurse. Vicki worked for 45 years in various medical environments such as a senior care facility, a family practice and as a nurse at the school her children attended. Vicki is a talented skier and previously taught ski lessons at Shawnee Mountain. Currently, she is a part of Big Boulder Mountain’s ski patrol.

Vicki struggled with a virus infection in her left eye for many years and received consistent treatment for it. In 2011, she found out her cornea was so thin it could rupture, and had her first transplant scheduled within weeks. With no recovery issues, the first surgery went smoothly and her vision improved to 20/20 post surgery. A year later, Vicki had cataract surgery. In 2017, the infection came back, and Vicki had a partial transplant done; the second transplant proved to be a more difficult recovery, which led to Vicki’s third transplant in 2018. Although it was another challenging recovery process, serum tears—eye drops made from one’s own plasma—helped heal her eye after the third transplant.

Vicki is a strong and resilient woman who has embraced the challenges of her long transplant journey. There were many difficulties within her second and third transplant, but she did not let that affect her spirit. After her second transplant, Vicki went straight to Switzerland to ski the alps, despite having her eyelid glued shut for healing! Although she still struggles with her depth perception and driving in the dark, Vicki’s vision is mostly back to normal.

Vicki learned about Lion’s Eye Bank through her incredible eye surgeon, Dr. Hannush. After visiting the office for a tour, she was able to find information about her donor and saw the process come full circle. Vicki is so inspired by the incredible work accomplished at Lion’s Eye Bank and was especially impressed by the touching story of LEBDV providing cornea tissue to Simeon Edwards in Jamaica.

Vicki and her family try to support Lion’s Eye Bank whenever possible. She went to Salt Lake City in 2018 for the Transplant Games of America; the best part of Vicki’s experience was meeting people from around the world and across the country while spreading the positive effects that are the result of organ donation and transplantation. During the games, Vicki and her husband won six gol medals and two silver medals for ballroom dancing!

Understanding the importance of saying “yes” to organ donations, Vicki wants the community to know that although it is devastating when a loved one passes away, that person will live on by giving someone else the gift of sight or even life. Vicki is extremely grateful to her donor and her donor family for saying “yes” to donation during such a difficult time. Being a life-long health care worker, Vicki is certainly pro-donation and encourages everyone to speak up about eye, tissue and organ donation.

 

Written by Tara Korch

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