Become a Hero This March for National Eye Donor Month

Kansas City, Mo. (March 1, 2013) – As a grant writer, Cate of Raymore, Mo., relies on her eyesight for her independence and livelihood. When her vision began to fail, “I was by all respects a young woman of 50 with the eyesight of someone in her 70s,” she said. But thanks to a cornea transplant and other vision surgeries, Cate was able to regain both her sight and her ability to contribute to the community as a grant writer.

Approximately 46,000 Americans will need a cornea transplant this year to save their sight, just like Cate. That’s why this March, for National Eye Donor Month, Heartland Lions Eye Banks encourages people in the Kansas City area to pledge to be eye, organ and tissue donors through the Missouri and Kansas donor registries. Thanks to the generosity of donor families and the continued support of Kansas City-area hospital staffs, Heartland Lions Eye Banks was able to provide donated eye tissue for 2,464 corneal transplants in 2012, including 1,086 in Missouri and Kansas.

During National Eye Donor Month, Heartland Lions Eye Banks honors its local donors and requests that people in the Kansas City area become sight-saving heroes by following four simple steps:

1.Learn more about eye donation at www.hleb.org/hero. 2.Speak with your family and friends about your choice to donate. 3.Pledge to be an eye, organ and tissue donor on your state registry. 4.Share the importance of donation with others in your community.

Join the donor registry at www.donatelifemissouri.com, www.donatelifekansas.com or the local Department of Motor Vehicles office. On behalf of the 2,464 recipients who received the healing gift of sight in 2012 through Heartland Lions Eye Banks, the Eye Bank thanks those who choose to save the lives and livelihoods of people like Cate by pledging to be eye, organ and tissue donors.

About Heartland Lions Eye Banks Heartland Lions Eye Banks is a division of the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to preserve and restore the sight of people throughout Missouri and around the world. The Eye Bank has helped give the gift of sight to more than 42,000 people worldwide since its founding in 1960. As one of the five largest eye banks in the U.S., Heartland Lions Eye Banks operates six branches throughout Missouri, Kansas and Illinois to offer high-quality donor tissue to corneal transplant surgeons and ocular researchers. For more information, visit www.hleb.org/hero.

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