The mission of the George Eye Bank is a simple – to fight blindness and visual impairment. The eye bank does this through recovering and providing donor eye tissue for eye surgeries and eye research studies. They also provide education pertaining to eye donation.
As Janice Newsome Sedgwick – the manager of public and professional relations for the Georgia Eye Bank – explains, each year there are approximately 45,000 corneas provided for transplants; that is more than all other organ transplants combined. Between 90 and 95 percent of those transplants, which replaces the hazy, dime-sized part of the cornea are successful.
There are very few diseases that prevent eye donation. People with cataracts, poor eyesight, or who have had prior eye surgery can possibly even be eye donors. Even people with cancer and/or diabetes can donate. And – unlike with other organ transplants – there does not have to be any blood typing.
You can learn more about eye donation by visiting the Georgia Eye Bank’s website at http://www.georgiaeyebank.org. It’s also easy to become a donor. You can register to become a donor at your local Department of Motor Vehicles or by visiting http://www.donatelifegeorgia.org. So far over 30,000 Georgians have received the gift of sight!