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Recipient Stories

Seeing the Power of Donation

Twenty years ago, I knew I’d need a cornea transplant. I was diagnosed with Fuchs dystrophy, a rare genetic condition that led to the degradation of my corneas.

At first, the effect on my vision was slight.  The disorder caused things to look cloudy so it felt like I was looking through steamed glass.

Over time, my eyesight became progressively worse and got to the point where I couldn’t see much at all. I knew it was time to pursue transplantation.

Thanks to the generosity of tissue donors, I had my right cornea replaced in August 2005 and in 2009 had my left cornea replaced.  The result has been remarkable.  I think people with normal vision take it for granted!

Because of my transplants, I was able to see both of my daughters graduate from college, I have a greater appreciation for my sight and have been able to continue working in education and research.

Today, I am Director of Research at The Ohio State University Medical Center’s Comprehensive Transplant Center.  The work I do will have an impact on future transplant recipients and is a way for me to pay forward the gift I received.

A few years ago I joined Lifeline of Ohio’s Board of Directors and the experience that has been very meaningful.  My involvement has given me the chance to meet donor families and other transplant recipients.  While I’ve been fascinated by the science behind transplantation for a long time, my involvement on the board really reinforces to me what a miracle transplantation is.

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