Testimonials

Dear Sir/Madam,

It is with a grateful heart that I sincerely thank you for the gift of improved sight. On July 9, 2007 I was the recipient of Corneal Tissue for DSEK surgery, performed by Dr. G. Rocha in Brandon, MB.

I am a 63 year old grandmother of eight with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy that impaired my sight to the point of not being able to drive, an avid reader that could no longer read without the use of a strong magnifying glass. Since surgery to my right eye, I can read stories to my grandchildren, enjoy a good book and drive in the daytime.

There are no words to adequately say thank you.

If possible I would like to thank the family that so generously donated their loved one’s cornea. What a wonderful gift. If it is not possible for me to write to them would you please pass on my sincere thanks.

I am now waiting to have surgery on my left eye and look forward to the day that I will have improved vision in both eyes.

Thanks you once again.


Like Elvis Said: “A Little Less Aggravation Please”

As a busker at Winnipeg’s Forks Market, I occasionally play Barbara Streissand’s old standard of a few decades back, “People Who Need People” on my ancient, but still serviceable, classic guitar. It gets a good enough reaction. More to the point though, it never fails to remind me that if it weren’t for some thoughtful soul’s indicating on his/her driver’s license that a liver, kidney or cornea might be used posthumously, I wouldn’t now have the cornea in my left eye that’s given me the partial, rather than virtually the no, eye-sight I used to have (my other eye just happens to be artificial).

Okay, so maybe you’ll never catch me very far away from my Braille watch or my trusty long white stick either, or for that matter that I’d even strike you as someone, depending on the circumstances in which we met, who had any useful vision to boast about at all. Well, I’ll just say that were you to give a twist to the meaning of the old proverb “a little goes a long way,” you’d have my take on the subject spot on.

”So you’re saying my donated cornea might not enable someone to use the white pages of a telephone book,” you think. “Well then—harumph, what’s the point?” While you’re at it, you could add that sightlessness never was a prescription for an unsuccessful life and hey, … didn’t a totally blind fellow even climb Mount Everest a few years back?

True enough. But so, though less dramatically, is the gnawing frustration you experience daily with a cornea that grows more and more opaque over time, until you’ve reached the point of weak light and a bit of very indistinct shadow—no colours, no depth, nothing even close to visual perspective. Believe me, that’s hardly an inconsiderable factor in anyone’s life.

As I’ve come to appreciate, it’s the eye of the beholder, not the degree of visual capacity that, in the end, really counts for those of us doing our best just to get along. By donating your corneas, you don’t need to make a big splash to make an enormous difference.


On July 19 2010 my dad died of a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The only thing that could save my dad’s life was a lung transplant; however he didn’t make it that far. At the time of his death we made the decision to donate his corneas. The day before we attended my dad’s celebration of life my mom received a beautiful medallion and a letter from the Lion’s Eye Bank stating that because of the donation two people were given the gift of eyesight. Wow what a blessing! My reaction was that of overwhelming joy and immeasurable pride, yet the news was bitter sweet at the same time. Just knowing that two people can see again makes this difficult journey much more bearable. My dad lives in my memory through the vision of the recipients. I hope that by sharing my story readers realize just how important a donation to the Lion’s Eye Bank can be.