Restoring sight, eliminating curable blindness, and advocating for organ, eye, and tissue donation.
As Joseph P. Kennedy once said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” In 2018, Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin embarked on multiple transformational projects that we believe will reset the course of LEBW for years to come. With the unanimous support of our Board of Directors, the ingenuity and raw determination of our staff, as well as the generous support of Wisconsin Lions Clubs, we were able to successfully administer several complex organizational strategies in the latter part of the year. Every strategy has focused with laser precision to ensure that LEBW is maximizing every opportunity for donation, providing the highest quality corneal tissue, and working collaboratively to ensure that every patient in need of a corneal transplant will receive the gift of sight.
As I walk through the lobby of our new facility and see the beautiful artwork on the walls, created by community members who are visually impaired, meet a donor family member that is contributing a quilt square to our donor memorial quilt, hear a Lions Club meeting commencing in our Community Room, watch surgeons practice a new surgical technique in our Surgical Education and Research Center, sit with a new member of our management team to plan a department agenda or watch a LEBW Transporter drive out of the parking lot to deliver a cornea for transplant to a surgery center, the tremendous pride in our employees, volunteers, and partners, emotions well up inside me.
In 2018, we reimagined what we could do, how much we could accomplish, and what we could offer our surgeons, patients, and our community. We provided over 1,500 corneas to those in need of a cornea transplant. Fifty-two percent of corneas stayed here in Wisconsin, ensuring no waiting list. The remaining 48% traveled nationally to help ensure there was no waiting list anywhere in the United States and internationally to do our part in the fight to end corneal blindness worldwide. Our mission is reinvigorated by the Lions Club motto, “We Serve,” and we are honored to continue to serve with our partners in organ, eye, and tissue donation, donor families, and all those who make the gift of sight possible. Thank you for contributing and supporting the mission of the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin.