Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) Encourages People to Give the Gift of Sight by Becoming an Eye and Cornea Donor
– March is National Eye Donor Month –
Pittsburgh, Feb. 28, 2014 – TheCenter for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is encouraging individuals to register to become eye and cornea donors in observance of National Eye Donor Month this March. In 2013, CORE was able to provide the gift of sight to 335 western Pennsylvania residents and to an additional 542 residents outside of the region thanks to donors. CORE’s partnership with the Medical Eye Bank of West Virginia also helped facilitate the gift of sight for 255 people in West Virginia, like:
- John Shuman of Wv. received a cornea transplant in Sept. 2013 following the death of his coworker Nancy Jividen’s son. With a condition called keratoconus, a progressive thinning of the cornea, a cornea transplant was the only thing that would have helped Shuman. Since his surgery, his vision continues to improve and he remains incredibly grateful and thankful for his donor Shane for the chance to be able to see again.
- In Pennsylvania, Sharon Wojnaroski of Johnstown, Pa. received her second cornea transplant in 1990 after being diagnosed with keratoconus in her ‘20s. She received her first cornea transplant in 1983. Wojnaroski is grateful for the selfless decisions made by her donors and their families to give others a second chance to live a fuller and more productive life.
“At CORE, having an onsite eye bank at our Pittsburgh headquarters allows medical teams to work efficiently in evaluating and distributing corneas to meet the needs of cornea transplant surgeries, locally and nationally,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “With more than 90 percent of all cornea transplants being successful in restoring vision, cornea donors make the gift of sight a reality for more than 46,000 people who receive these transplants each year. This month, and throughout the year, we encourage individuals to learn more about cornea donation and to sign up to become a donor.”
Since 1961, surgeons have performed more than 700,000 cornea transplant procedures across the country, restoring sight to men, women and children ranging in age from nine days to 103 years old. National Eye Donor Month was established in 1983 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and iscommemorated each year with a proclamation to note this special public awareness month. A member of Congress continues this tradition by reading a proclamation into the Congressional Record each March.
For more information about CORE, visit core.org.
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. For more information, visit core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7