We’ve been providing transplantable corneal tissue to the state of Alabama for 46 years. As we look back and let the reality of just how many thousands and thousands of Alabamians over our history that have long benefited from sight-restoring corneal transplants make us all swell with pride to know that we have had a hand in restoring purpose in a life through the gift of sight. We are so proud to have worked with so many of the industries leading professionals here in Alabama and all the friends in the medical community across the nation.
Each year, the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) along with the Alabama Eye Bank and other eye banks nation wide promote March as “National Eye Donor Month” to raise awareness of the need for eye donation. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Eye Donor Month in 1983, and since then, a member of Congress has read a proclamation into the Congressional Record each March to note this special occasion.
Last year, the Alabama Eye Bank recovered and provided over 1300 transplantable corneas to help fellow Alabamian’s and patients around the world, regain their sight. The EBAA and its member eye banks know firsthand the profound effect of sight-restoring corneal transplants, which changes the lives of over 60,000 people each year.
The efforts of the EBAA, its member banks, corneal surgeons, certified eye bank technicians (CEBTs) have contributed to advancements in corneal surgery. Our industry-leading medical standards, acknowledged and respected by government and peers alike, have also contributed to the efficacy and safety of corneal tissue. These achievements would not have been possible without the selfless gifts of donors and donor families, the dedication of eye bankers, corneal surgeons and technicians, and the support of our community, who assist us in increasing donation awareness.
In closing, there are lots of ups and downs in our industry right now. However, we can not lose sight of our mission in life and the reality of our jobs that we get to be a part of a chapter in someone’s life story of WHEN they got to see again. “It was dark one day, then the eye bank…then the doctor…then the nurse…and I could see again.” These are powerful words that we can not let get lost in the static of our days. We all here at the Alabama Eye Bank are so proud and blessed to know that each day we had a part to play in one chapter of someone’s life called, “PURPOSE: Restored” and with your support to increase donation awareness, many more will be afforded the same opportunity.