Our annual impact report
Our mission is to restore sight and prevent blindness through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research.
From our President/CEO
In our communities around the world, we partner with individuals and organizations like you—advocates, families, transplant recipients, surgeons, Lions, fellow eye banks, healthcare leaders and many others—to change lives.
Together, every year, we create new futures for thousands of people by restoring sight and preventing blindness through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research.
In 2019, with your involvement and support, our impact was unprecedented.
That’s because, in all of our communities, together, we are a community of doers. We are thriving, mission-focused and energized by the purposeful work we undertake. We have a clear vision for changing even more lives in the future.
Thank you for your trust, involvement and inspiration. We can’t do this important work without you.
Our 2019 mission impact
Our impact stories
“Sight is something that we tend to take for granted until it goes away. To lose it, and then gain it again, really puts it in perspective how powerful it is in our lives.” —Patrick Pruitt, cornea transplant recipient
“He strongly believed you’re here for a purpose. You’re here to benefit and serve others. I think the gift he gave is a gift that’s everlasting.” —Alice Walsh, mom of donor Connor Walsh
Our 2019 highlights
During an extraordinary year for the Eversight Center for Vision and Eye Banking Research in Ohio, we welcomed a new research director and received the Eye Bank Association of America’s coveted High Impact Research Grant for our work with the Centre for Eye Research Australia. We added exciting new research capabilities and service lines, established new ways to facilitate research into retinal diseases, and much more.
Improving corneal transplantation
We pioneered a new infection prevention protocol at the time of corneal tissue procurement so surgeons and patients alike can have the best possible transplant experience. We also launched new preloaded tissue options for cornea transplant surgeons to further streamline surgeries and reduce cost.
Contributing to science
We awarded seed grants to researchers at Kellogg Eye Center, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center for exciting work investigating transplant failure, corneal regenerative potential, unexplainable eye pain, chorioretinal degenerations and herpes stromal keratitis.
Expanding global access
We led international collaboration that enabled Pakistan to open its first state-of-the-art eye banks as part of a new national eye banking network—a goal years in the making that has generated a grassroots movement for organ, tissue and eye donor registration.
Building for the future
We relocated our Michigan headquarters to an expanded facility to accommodate the growing need for our work. It includes sophisticated new clinical laboratory space where donor tissue is evaluated and prepared for transplantation and research needs, and additional features for us to serve surgeons, patients and donor families to the best of our ability.
Capping a year of collaboration with Lions partners, volunteer ambassadors and advocates in all of our communities to promote public education and state donor registries, we joined our eye bank partners to celebrate National Eye Donation Month with the powerful involvement of one of our donor families.