March has once again been designated as Eye Donor Month by the Eye Bank Association of America. This marks the 50th consecutive year that Eye Donor Month has been recognized as a state and national issue. The Sight Society of Northeastern New York Inc., the Lions Eye Bank at Albany, and your local Amsterdam Lions Club are working to raise awareness throughout area communities about cornea, tissue and organ donation.
Many of us take our eyesight for granted, but for those who are visually impaired, sight is a most precious gift. Through the technology of medical science, complete restoration of sight has been made possible through corneal transplant surgery.
The eye bank serves 29 counties across northeastern New York and Great Barrington, Mass. With the dedicated effort of area hospital professionals, the eye bank has been responsible for more than 10,000 eye tissue transplants since the program began in 1952.
In 2012, the Lions Eye Bank at Albany provided tissue for more than 320 corneal transplants, which restored vision to men, women and children whose ages ranged from nine days to 103 years. There were more than 48,000 corneal transplant surgeries performed worldwide last year, and more than 95 percent of those were successful.
The Amsterdam Lions Club urges the public to become aware of what can be done to make it possible for some sight-impaired individuals to see again. For details on how you can become an eye donor, contact Robert Montenaro, secretary of the Amsterdam Lions Club.
March is recognized as Eye Donor Month not only to support the dedicated work of caring people and benevolent organizations, but to raise awareness of individuals who may want to someday make a gift of sight. It is indeed a gift to be shared.