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Celebrating the Miracles of Donation and Transplantation

April is “Donate Life Month”, a time of bringing awareness to the processes of organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation in the United States, and around the world.

According to medical research, corneal disease is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide. Corneal graft surgery (transplantation) is among the most frequently performed, and one of the most successful, solid organ transplants completed yearly (Liu, Ling Wong, and Walkden, March 2022).

The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) estimates that eye banks, like The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, provide about 80,000 sight-restoring corneal tissues for use in transplantation each year, and that the lifetime economic impact of corneal transplants exceeds $6 billion dollars (EBAA website: restoresight.org, date of retrieval March 23, 2024).

The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin is dedicated to helping fulfill the end-of-life wishes of Wisconsinites who choose to become donors upon their death, transforms donated corneal tissues into the gift of sight (right here in Wisconsin) and ensures that residents of our state have access to the cures they need to end their low vision and corneal blindness.

Wisconsinites Helping Wisconsinites

Thanks to the profound generosity of Wisconsin residents, more than 2.9 million of whom have already said “yes” to donation by registering their decision to be a donor, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services statistics (dhs.wisconsin.gov/donatelife, date of retrieval March 23, 2024) there is no “waiting list” to receive a corneal transplant in our state. It’s true! The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin works to ensure that donated cornea from Wisconsin residents remains in Wisconsin to be transformed into the gift of sight and is made available to Wisconsin residents first.

Local Action. Global Impact.

Sadly, according to the EBAA, more than 53% of the world’s population lacks access to corneal transplants due to economic and cultural disparities where they live. Currently, there are more corneas available for transplant than are needed here at home. The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin is committed to honoring the intent of donors and maximizing their gifts. We do this by

collaborating with partners around the country, and around the world, to ensure that every medically suitable donated cornea is placed for transplant. Those that are not suitable for transplant make a difference through their contribution to education and research. In 2023, The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin helped local residents make a global impact by providing the gift of sight to 789 recipients in the US, and 725 recipients in more than 40 countries worldwide.

We’re Part of the Cure for Corneal Blindness. You can be too!

Each year, The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin provides more than $2 million dollars in eye banking services to ensure that all who need it have access to cures for low vision and corneal blindness, here in Wisconsin, and around the world. We are only able to do this thanks to the generosity of financial supporters, like you.

When you make a financial contribution to The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, you’re helping give the gift of sight on a global scale. If you have already demonstrated your support for cures in Wisconsin and around the world, we thank you! If not, please consider making a gift now. The contribution you make today helps ensure that someone will see the world in a whole new light tomorrow!

There are many ways to show your support for curing corneal blindness. Become a monthly donor to The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin to sustain our ongoing work. If you own a business, consider becoming a corporate partner. Create a visionary legacy by including The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin in your estate plan. You can learn more about how to support cures for corneal blindness by visiting our website at: www.LEBW.org, or contacting Stefanie Dziedzic, Chief Development Officer at [email protected], or by phone at +1 (608) 416-1712.

Wisconsin, We are Your Eye Bank.

The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin is steadfastly committed to making a difference in the lives of Wisconsinites. Come see how we do it. Our eye bank is your eye bank, and we invite all who are interested to visit us for a tour and to learn more about the work we do to help make miracles possible through donation and cornea transplantation.


The Eye Bank Association of America. (2024, January 16). We Restore Sight World Wide. EBAA. https://restoresight.org/
Liu, S., Wong, Y. L., & Walkden, A. (2022). Current perspectives on corneal transplantation. Clinical Ophthalmology16, 631-646. https://doi.org/10.2147/opth.s289359
Organ and tissue donation program. (2023, October 26). Wisconsin Department of Health Services. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/donatelife/index.htm

LEBW “In Sight” Newsletter: Vol. 1, Article 2