We are passionate about restoring sight, eliminating curable blindness, and advocating for organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Imagine what life would be like if you could not see – not being able to work, see a beautiful sunset or the faces of your loved ones. While there is no waitlist in the U.S. for a corneal transplant, there are millions of people around the world who are living with curable blindness. For almost 80 years, generous donors and their loved ones have made our mission of restoring sight and eliminating curable blindness possible by saying YES! to donation.
FAQ About Donation
Q: What is a cornea?
A: A cornea is the outer clear, domed-shaped tissue found at the front of the eye. It functions like a window, allowing light to pass through the eye. The cornea does not affect eye color, so transplant patients will retain their original eye color after their surgery.
Q: Why would someone need a corneal transplant?
A: A cornea transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a diseased, damaged, or infected cornea with a healthy, donated cornea. Corneal transplantation is the most frequently performed transplant procedure and has a 97% success rate.
Q: My vision is bad. Am I able to donate my corneas?
A: Your corneal tissue may be completely healthy even if your eyesight is poor. Many causes of vision loss do not affect the cornea. Donated cornea that are not suitable for transplantation can, with authorization, provide much-needed information for researchers or for those being trained in corneal tissue recovery, preservation, and evaluation.
Q: Is the whole eye transplanted?
A: No. Only the corneas can be transplanted. However, the entire eye may be recovered for use in research or education.
Q: What if I am part of a religious sect. Am I able to donate?
A: Yes. All major religions in the U.S. support organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation and consider it a final act of love and generosity toward others.
Q: Who can be an organ, eye, and tissue donor?
A: People of all ages and medical history should consider themselves potential organ, eye, and tissue donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what can be donated. If corneal tissue is not transplantable due to age or medical condition, the donation can, with authorization, be considered a gift for education and research involving glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and other sight disorders. These studies advance the knowledge of causes and effects of blinding eye conditions and lead to new treatments and cures.
Q: How do I consent to donate my eye tissue?
A: Become a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor by joining the Wisconsin Donor Registry. By joining the registry, you give first-person authorization to donate instead of leaving the decision to relatives. Be sure to discuss your final wishes regarding donation with your loved ones.