March is National Eye Donor Month

March 20, 2012

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Eye Donor Month to raise awareness about the need for eye donors and to celebrate donors and corneal recipients.

Corneal transplant is one of the most frequently performed transplant procedures. Since 1961, more than 549,889 corneal transplants have been performed, restoring sight to men, women and children ranging in age from nine days to 103 years. More than 90% of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the recipient's vision.

You may wonder why you should become an organ donor. Because there is no substitute for human tissue, the transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of corneal donation from person to another. Donated human eyes and corneal tissue are used for research, education, and transplantation. Anyone can become an eye donor. Cataracts, poor eyesight or age do not prevent you from being a donor.

As always, when you make the decision to become an organ donor, it is important to talk to your family about your wishes. To learn more about becoming an organ donor, read about NFT’s Transplant Challenge.