The power of eye donation

Born with congenital glaucoma, Lily Schlafauser has dealt with eye problems since birth. She underwent her first cornea transplant at just 15 months old, and has had three more since.

“Constant doctors visits, surgeries and eye drops have become a normal part of her life,” said Lily’s mother, Polly. “It has gotten easier as she has gotten older.”

But even as Lily grew accustomed to the medical care her condition requires, she also realized it sets her apart from other children her age. She was overjoyed to receive a copy of the children’s story “The Blind Porcupine.” Written by 12-year-old twin cornea recipients Madison and Malia, who were also born with congenital glaucoma, the book helped Lily realize that she was not the only one—other children had faced similar struggles.

Eversight also sent Lily copies of the book to share with her kindergarten class, to help her classmates better understand her constant eye problems.

“It made her feel very important,” Polly said.

Inspired by their experience with Lily’s class and teachers, mother and daughter have become Eversight Ambassadors, and they hope to spread the work about the importance of eye, organ and tissue donation.

“I want my daughter to be more than a recipient,” Polly said. “I want to create an awareness in Lily and in those around us about this wonderful gift that has allowed my daughter a chance at sight.”