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Eye   Tissue Bank

In 2005, the latest year for which complete statistics are available, the Lions District 2E-1 (North Central Texas) Tissue and Eye Bank had 28 Eye   Tissue Donors, including 26 who donated eyes for 52 corneas, 2 who donated skin, 14 bone doners, 2 hearts for valves, and 3 vein doners. During that same year, 42 corneas were transplanted, 41 of which were for recipients living in our District.

But the numbers, though they are important tell only a portion of the story. Throughout the district Transplant Services Center and Lions impact lives through transplantation. These stories include the 12 year old boy from Abilene who needed a bone graft to repair a birth defect. Then there is 46 year old woman from Archer City who regained her mobility following knee surgery also requiring bone grafts. Or the 87 year old Wichita Falls woman who received a cornea transplant to restore vision and relieve pain.

The first Lions Eye Bank was established in 1945 in Buffalo, NY, and was one of two eye banks in the world at that time. Today there are some 60 Eye Banks sponsored by Lions Clubs in the US alone. World-wide, hundreds of thousands of people have had their sight restored through corneal transplants provided through Lions Eye Banks, and considerable research has been conducted into the causes, prevention and cure of eye diseases.

Our Lions District 2E-1 Eye Bank was chartered in 1974 in Abilene, Texas. It originally banked only eye tissue, but now also banks skin, bone, heart valves and vascular tissue.

It is estimated that some 450,000 Americans will need tissue transplants this year to improve or even save their lives. Obviously, donors are badly needed. The Texas Department of Public Safety sponsors a program to designate potential donors on their Texas Driver's License.

Grants to help defray the costs of transportation or other ancillary expenses related to tissue transplantation are available to qualified recipients or their families. For further information or to apply for such grant, please write to Stephenville Lions, PO Box 410, Stephenville, TX 76401.

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ŠStephenville Lions 2007                Send E-mail to Stephenville Lions                 Updated: 10/07/2009