Children’s Vision Screening Helps Child Read Lions Sight Week is April 15-20, 2013
A Bike Ride for Health
Champion of Donation: Chad Earhart
Meet the Partner Relations Coordinators of Heartland Lions Eye Banks
A Young Man’s Legacy: Choices of Independence and Donation
From Our Executive Director
Tony Bavuso Chief Operating Officer
With National Eye Donor Month in March and Lions Sight Week in April, it’s a good time to think about choices. In this issue of Perspectives, you’ll read about a few remarkable people who are making, or have already made, decisions to positively impact their communities. A donor shows us the lasting importance of donation and choosing life in both big and small ways. One of our employees embarks on a journey to improve her health and contribute to the causes she loves. A couple of Lions, thanks to their history of service, are able to prepare their daughter for even greater success in the classroom.
Ronald Walkenbach, Ph.D. Executive Director
Tina Livesay Chief Compliance Officer Jachin Misko Regional Director of Clinical Services Shelly Rasley Regional Director of Technical Operations Emily Tuttle Director of Donor Services Tamara Oberbeck Vision Services Program Manager
Annie Kuhl Communications & Development Manager Clayton Clark Communications & Development Specialist Paul Coleman Graphic Designer
Columbia, MO 404 Portland St. Columbia, MO 65201 Office: 573-443-1479 Donor Hotline: 800-331-2636 Fax: 573-443-1657 Hutchinson, KS 2 East 12th Ave. Hutchinson, KS 67501 Partner Relations: 620-259-7388 Office: 620-259-7300 Fax: 620-259-7323 Kansas City, MO 10100 N. Ambassador Dr. Suite 200 Kansas City, MO 64153 Office: 816-454-5454 Fax: 816-454-5446 Springfield, IL 400 Chatham Rd. Suite 103 Springfield, IL 62704 Office: 217-679-2987 Fax: 217-670-0800 Springfield, MO 3506 S. Culpepper Suite D Springfield, MO 65804 Office: 417-882-1532 Fax: 417-882-8206
National Eye Donor Month is an excellent reminder to make known our personal preferences about eye donation. First, get the information you need to make an informed decision by reading about eye donation at www.hleb.org and other credible resources. Then speak with your family and friends about your decision to donate, and if you haven’t yet, pledge to be an eye, organ, and tissue donor on your state’s donor registry at www.donatelife.net or your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. The most important thing we can do to ensure our wishes are carried out is to make them known to our loved ones and the state donor registry. In 2012, the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation’s six programs served nearly 50,000 people. I’m proud of our success, but we’re going to need your help to make these programs even more effective in 2013. If you are a member of a Lions club, I hope you will support your state sight project during the second annual Lions Sight Week, April 15-20 (see page 3). And if you’re affiliated with us in some other way, please share the good news of eye donation this March and consider giving your time at an upcoming Foundation event or making a financial gift to help us continue our mission. Together, we’ll choose to preserve and restore sight in our communities. Sincerely,
Ronald J. Walkenbach, Ph.D. Executive Director
St. Louis, MO 10801 Pear Tree Lane Suite 170 St. Louis, MO 63074 Office: 314-428-4373 Fax: 314-428-3751
General Information: 573-443-1471 or 1-800-753-2265 Media Inquiries: 800-283-1982 ext. 107 or ext. 115 Online at www.hleb.org & www.mlerf.org
Perspectives | Page 2
The Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation based in Columbia, Mo. The Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of sight through eye banking, community vision programs and the support of research. For more information on our programs, please visit www.mlerf.org.
A Bike Ride for Health Meet Jasmine. She works in the Donor Services Center at our Columbia office. As a Family Services Coordinator, she offers families support and information during the eye donation process. Her work has inspired her to take control of her health and pursue her dreams of travel, so this spring she will embark on a cross-country cycling trip from New York to Los Angeles. Jasmine views the journey as “a full transformation – physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” one impressive goal of which will be 90 pounds of weight loss. “My education has been interrupted this semester due to weight gain and health issues stemming from that,” Jasmine said. “So there is no time like now to heal my body through exercise, better eating, and fulfilling my dream to cycle through the United States.” Jasmine’s training and cycling trip will improve her personal health, but she’s also using the event to help others by raising money for MLERF and speaking about eye donation and vision health. “As an employee, I have come to love the mission and philosophy of our group,” Jasmine said. And as a violinist, she will also share the importance of music education by giving impromptu concerts and visiting schools, hospices, and nursing homes along the way to speak about her passion.
Celebration of Life & Rose Dedication Service Join Heartland Lions Eye Banks, University Hospitals and Clinics, and Midwest Transplant Network to honor donor families, transplant recipients, and other people touched by donation. Celebration of Life & Rose Dedication Service Friday, April 19, 2013 - 12:00pm MU Women’s & Children’s Hospital Health Pavillion 404 Keene Street Columbia, MO 65201 For more information, contact Kharim Strayhorn at 417-882-1532 ext. 1014 or KStrayhorn@hleb.org.
To learn more about Jasmine’s trip and donate to her cause, visit her fundraising website at http://www. gofundme.com/1qhq5k. And check out www.hleb.org to read a full story and periodic updates on her training, travel, weight loss, and fundraising goals.
Lions Sight Week is April 15-20, 2013 Lions Sight Week, to be held April 15-20, is a week-long observance celebrating the Missouri Lions’ support of the Foundation’s six programs that preserve and restore sight. You can help us save sight this April in several ways: 1) Volunteer at a Children’s Vision Screening event. 2) Host an eye, organ, and tissue donor registration drive in your community. 3) Make a financial donation to our mission. With your support, we can break records in community service by screening more than 2,000 children for the leading causes of blindness during LSW. An informational packet was sent to your club president in February. Find more info online at www.mlerf.org/lionssightweek. Perspectives | Page 3
Champion of Donation: Chad Earhart “I’m just a normal guy who was curious and then wanted others to know what I discovered,” said Chaplain Chad Earhart, director of spiritual care and volunteers, about his work leading the eye, organ, and tissue donation initiative at Northeast Regional Medical Center. There, he and his team have implemented such campaigns as “Mythbusters” and “Organ Donation Underground: Fact or Fiction?” to educate their community about donation. While Earhart might call himself a “normal guy,” Heartland Lions Eye Banks knows the sizeable impact a chaplain like him can have on the gift of sight in his community. Earhart graduated with a theology degree from Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO, and since then he’s worked primarily as a pastor. In his first Clinical Pastoral Education course at St. Luke’s on the Plaza in Kansas City, he learned about donation firsthand through a research paper he wrote called, “Heart to Heart: Bridging the Medical and Spiritual Divide.” As part of his study, he was able to meet and interview people affected by the donation process. “One young woman who stands out to me could not play with her children or even walk up the stairs,” he recalled. “After the transplant, she was able to play with her children, start back to college, and have hope for a future.” When Earhart moved to Kirksville, MO in 2010 for his current position, he immediately got “fired up” about the hospital’s Donate Life initiative. “I knew how helpful donation was, but I was hearing all kinds of myths being thrown around that prevented patients and their families from donation,” he said. He joined a team of committed hospital staff and community volunteers that campaigns to promote donation in
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the hospital and surrounding area. “We believed that we could make change in our culture. We started with ourselves. We checked the processes for signing up [for the donor registry], we studied the answers to the questions our community had, we asked the donation organizations for help, we planned events for our hospital, and we figured out creative ways to get the word out to our schools and community.” This approach appears to be having a positive effect, as consent for eye donation at NRMC improved 31% from 2010 to 2012. Providing families with accurate information has considerable benefits, but Chaplain Earhart also brings compassion, kindness, patience, vision, and courage into the hospital room. “I look at being in a room with someone who has died as standing on holy ground. I am honored to be in that sacred place and attempt to let God guide me in those discussions,” he said. “I take a deep breath, try to be aware of what I am feeling, then turn over those feelings to being present with the family. Most people need to grieve, and they need to grieve in their own ways. My objective is to meet people where they are, emotionally, help them process their thoughts and feelings, then give them next steps – such as donation – so I can help them with their concerns or answer any misconceptions.” Chaplain Earhart’s compassionate, energetic, and informed approach to donation makes him a Champion of Donation. The staff of Heartland Lions Eye Banks admires his work as an educator and spiritual advisor, and we look forward to partnering with him and his team as they continue to impact eye, organ, and tissue donation in their community.
Meet Heartland Lions Eye Banks’ Partner Relations Coordinators Our Partner Relations Coordinators (PRCs) strive to maximize the number of eye donations in their territories by building strong, positive relationships with organizational partners. Each of the four PRCs covers a portion of Heartland Lions Eye Banks’ three-state region by improving communication and facilitating operations that are effective and efficient. In the past, this role was more narrowly dedicated to hospital partners and was called Hospital Services Coordinator, but the position now encompasses communication with the wide variety of stakeholders in eye donation, including hospital staff, coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, surgeons, and organ procurement organizations.
Darin Manlove PRC Territory 1 Hutchinson, KS 620-259-7388 firstname.lastname@example.org
Because the PRCs are local to their territories, they can more readily recognize the unique needs of the organizations and communities they serve. To increase eye donor conversion rates, the PRCs: • Regularly communicate with organizational partners to identify barriers to eye donation and problem solve to overcome these barriers. • Develop and deliver marketing and professional education programs on eye donation in an effort to facilitate and promote the eye donation process. • Participate in special events, conferences, and health fairs to represent HLEB and promote eye donation.
Amy Moss PRC Territory 2 Kansas City, MO 573-268-0145 email@example.com
PRCs serve as the familiar and friendly face of the Eye Bank to our organizational partners. They regularly travel throughout their territories to ensure that the needs of our organizational partners are being served in a positive manner and that together we are cooperating to give every eligible donor and donor family the opportunity to give the gift of sight. The PRCs Darin Manlove operates from the Hutchinson office and covers most of Kansas. He recently joined HLEB after nearly 20 years of hospital services experience, much of that being with the American Red Cross.
Kharim Strayhorn PRC Territory 3 Springfield, MO 417-882-1532 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Moss operates from the Kansas City office, serving the KC metro area, northwestern Missouri, and northeastern Kansas. She joined the staff 3.5 years ago after working in public relations and nonprofit communications. Kharim Strayhorn operates from the Springfield, MO office, covering southern and central Missouri. Kharim started with HLEB 12 years ago as an eye recovery technician but says he found his true calling as a PRC. Troy Reddick operates from the Springfield, IL office and coordinates relations in central Illinois and eastern Missouri. He brings to the position 20 years of experience in the medical sciences and sterile processing of surgical instruments.
Troy Reddick PRC Territory 4 Springfield, IL 217-679-2987 email@example.com
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A Young Man’s Legacy: Choices of Independence and Donation I. “Everybody loved Danial, and he loved everyone.” When Danial Miller was born with spina bifida, the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States, his mother, Terri, decided she would do whatever it took to give him a “normal and independent life.” And by all accounts, he had just that. Danial used a wheelchair, but he also learned to drive, went to the prom, played piano (“Lean On Me” was his favorite song), wrestled for the Hillsboro High School team, and started college coursework. In the small, rural town of Hillsboro, IL, Danial was wellknown, and the community embraced him. Hillsboro may not be the most accessible place on Earth for someone with a disability, but this did not prevent Danial from making an impact there. “He felt empathy for others,” Terri said. “He would talk his friends through the problems they were facing.” It was most certainly Danial’s abilities to give of himself to others and excel in his many interests that made his life so memorable. II. “This is what I want to do.” What wasn’t simply “normal” about Danial’s life was his interest in and success at sled hockey. Sled hockey is an adaptation of ice hockey that involves equipment altered to enable people with physical disabilities to skate and play. While at a St. Louis Cardinals game, the Miller family was approached by a representative of the Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA), who asked if Danial liked sports. He responded, “I love sports, but I can’t play much.” And with that, the Millers’ relationship with DASA was formed. What would begin with a DASA-sponsored kayak outing eventually led to Danial joining the St. Louis Blues Sled Hockey team.
The first time Danial got off the ice rink, he knew sled hockey was for him. “It changed his life,” Terri said. “On the ice he could do the things he wanted to do. His disability was gone on the ice.” Excelling at hockey improved his self-esteem and self-confidence. In fact, Danial’s team went on to win the national championship in Dallas, Texas in April 2012 by defeating the Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime. III. “I’ve lived with a disability. If someone could give me a gift to heal me, you bet I’d take it, and I’d be so grateful for it.” Part of the independent life Danial led involved learning to drive. The Millers hired an instructor from the St. Louis area to teach him to drive on a vehicle modified so as to be driven entirely with his hands. When he got his license, Danial made the choice to sign up for the Illinois state donor registry. “He was clear on what he wanted to do,” Terri said. When Danial died last June of complications related to his condition, just two weeks after his eighteenth birthday, there was no question in Terri’s mind that he would become an eye, organ, and tissue donor. He was able to save and improve the lives of numerous people by donating his corneas, kidneys, pancreas, liver, and heart valves as well as other tissues for spina bifida research. Danial’s cousin had received a cornea transplant a year before he passed away, so he understood firsthand just how much eye donation can help another person. The Miller family had summer plans to go to the Gulf of Mexico so Danial could finally experience the ocean, and, as it turns out, his corneas were placed in Hawaii. In a way, Terri said, “he got to see the ocean.”
“I’ve lived with a disability. If someone could give me a gift to heal me, you bet I’d take it, and I’d be so grateful for it.” – Danial Miller Perspectives | Page 6
IV. The Danial Miller Memorial Fund His legacy of giving lives on in the Danial Miller Memorial Fund. Begun by Terri soon after Danial’s passing, the fund is committed to helping eliminate barriers to independent living for people with disabilities, and it supports programs that allow them to live more fulfilling lives through greater opportunities. Terri uses the fund as a clearinghouse to donate to other causes. Some organizations the fund has already supported include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Hillsboro Runners Club. And in the future, Terri would like to give to DASA Sports, the Spina Bifida Association, and Shriners Hospitals for Children and to fund projects in her community that support activities and accessibility for disabled people. To learn more and to support the fund, you can visit www.danialmiller.com. Danial’s legacy also illustrates the lasting benefits of eye, organ, and tissue donation. “I buy into the idea of donation,” Terri said. “Nobody gave up on Danial even though he was a donor.” His decision to be a donor has significant long-term effects in the lives of his recipients, including the gift of sight, the gift of life, and the potential for advancements in spina bifida treatment. They’ll regain the independence Danial and his family were always choosing to pursue. As Terri put it, “Danial’s whole life was about choosing life,” and as a donor, he’s done just that. Perspectives | Page 7
“Thanks so much for this program. Even though the correction needed by Cheyenne is not as life-changing as for some children, this program offers help that doesn’t exist for many kids.” – PCC Pat Porterfield
Children’s Vision Screening Helps Child Read As members of the St. Charles Lions club, PCC Pat and PDG Lyn Porterfield are very familiar with the Children’s Vision Screening program, having volunteered at screenings for much of the past decade. When asked about why they volunteer, Pat said, “It’s a program with proven results and is life-altering for those kids we catch. A few hours out of a day to make a difference in the rest of a child’s life – what could be more important than that?” Because of this involvement, their daughter Cheyenne, now a second-grader, had been screened for vision problems twice before at ages 4 and 5. Both times she received a “pass” report. She’d also received annual exams from an optometrist but hadn’t been prescribed glasses. Last October, however, while the Porterfields were visiting a fellow Lion volunteer at a screening event, Cheyenne asked to get screened again. This time, with the program’s new Plusoptix handheld auto-refractor equipment, Cheyenne received a “refer” report, which encouraged the Porterfields to take Cheyenne to an optometrist for a follow-up exam. Their optometrist confirmed the Plusoptix screening results, diagnosing Cheyenne with minor astigmatism and farsightedness, and prescribed glasses for reading. As a student, Cheyenne is constantly using her vision to learn and to read. According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, 80 percent of the sensory information the brain receives comes from the eyes. This means with her new glasses Cheyenne will be better equipped to succeed in school. Currently, Cheyenne is “into ‘chapter books,’ including The Boxcar Children, The Magic School Bus, and The
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Magic Tree House,” Pat said. “With her new glasses, she reads with fewer mistakes and less hesitation – it has increased her confidence.” Stories like Cheyenne’s – in which a child’s vision alters in a short period of time – are not uncommon. The American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam at least every two years for children because vision changes can occur without the parents or the child noticing them. The Children’s Vision Screening program serves an important role in referring children with vision abnormalities to eye doctors so they can get a vision exam and the treatment they need. In this case, the Porterfields’ generous volunteerism paid them back by having access to the Children’s Vision Screening equipment at the right time, which informed them to seek the professional treatment Cheyenne needed. Best of all, Cheyenne isn’t bashful about her new specs – she thinks they’re “cool” – and she’s learning with them even when she’s not in the classroom. “She has learned that there is a responsibility for [glasses] – keeping track of them, keeping them safe and clean,” Pat said. “But so far we have not misplaced them!” To find out about upcoming Children’s Vision Screenings in your area or to volunteer at one, visit our calendar online at www.mlerf.org/calendar. Or to request a free screening at your upcoming event, you can schedule online at www.mlerf.org/requestscreening or call 800-753-2265 ext. 8518.
CIRCLE OF SIGHT Champion
Thanks to our generous donors: July 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013 Protector
Gifts of $2500 or more
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Gifts of $249-$100
Gifts of $249-$100
Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis Estate of E.B. & Ila Smith The Mader Foundation Prime Health Foundation Thorp Foundation
A & B Prescription Shop Ms. Emily Agee Ms. Yone Amimoto Associated Electric Cooperative Mr. Ronald Avey Mrs. Carol Ballard Ms. Frances Barber Mr. & Mrs. Tony & Julie Bavuso Mr. Rodney Bacon Ms. Verdia Beard Mr. & Mrs. Peter Beckers Mr. Maurice Benskin Benton Class of 1965 PDG Bill Boehmer Mr. Jim Boldt Mrs. Phillis Bosley Ms. Elizabeth Boyce Mr. Glen Brandt Ms. Ardith Breneman Mr. Fredrick Caldwell Ms. Teresa Carter Central Missouri Electric Cooperative Mr. Bobby Clark D.E. Garner & Associates Mrs. Luella Davin Mr. George Davis Ms. Janet Degginger Ms. Betty DeLuce Mr. Paul Dunbar Mrs. Jean Dye Mrs. Mollie Jeanne Edwards Family Practice Clinic Mrs. Betty Feldhausen Mr. Thomas Feiman Mr. Michael Fields Mrs. Rosaetta Fields Ms. Charlene Friedman Mr. Mark Garges Ms. Lois Gilham Lions Walter & Kathleen Green Mrs. Arlene Griffiths Mr. & Mrs. Rex Gump
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Join the Circle of Sight
at www.mlerf.org/circleofsight & change the life of someone in need. Perspectives | Page 9
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Mr. William Abrams Mr. Harold Adams Ms. Annie Adams Ms. Mary Adkins Ms. Marian Ahlberg Ms. Wanda Akins Ms. Martha Allen Mrs. Helen Alumbaugh Mrs. Virginia Antweiler Mr. Avis Arellanes Mr. Keith Bailey Ms. Sue Baker Ms. Corinne Barbarick Ms. Brenda Barber Mr. Albert Barnett Mr. Effie Beckett Ms. Dorothy Beesley Ms. Donna Birdsong Ms. Lucile Bithos Ms. Janet Black Mrs. Mary Blake Mrs. Patricia Blakley-Hope Ms. Lorna Bloss Ms. Norma Bond Ms. Lyla Bowser Mr. Jack Brantley Mr. & Mrs. Jon & Marcia Breeden Ms. Marilyn Brown Mrs. Clara Brunstrom Ms. Sharon Bryson Ms. Elizabeth Budenbender Burns, Taylor, Heckemeyer & Green, LLC Ms. Nelda Campbell Ms. Stacy Carrick Ms. Lillian Carter Mrs. Mary Ann Cary Ms. Kathleen Case Mr. Ernest Chance Mrs. Debra Clark Ms. Connie Colville Mr. Vernon Colvis Mr. William Frazier Conner Mr. Thomas Cook Mr. Paul Coulter Mrs. Mary Coyne Ms. Marjorie Crum Mrs. Marjorie Culp Mr. Jimmie Davis Ms. Janice Dawson Mrs. Susan Dean Ms. Barbara Dew Mr. James Dunbar Ms. Dixie Dutro Mr. & Mrs. Dennis & Debbie Ebersold Perspectives | Page 10
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Gifts of $1999 to $1000
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GIFTS IN MEMORY Don Ancell Judy Aufdenberg Ronald Barnes Sarah Billingsley Roger Boeger Jack Brunstrom Arthur Burkemper Willa Fay Burns Barbara Calvin Pat Campbell Jerry Carter Botts Cauthorn Dorothy Coots Vicki Crum Lawrence Dalaviras George Davidson
Dorothy Davidson-Wood Patty Denton Lila Dewell Mary Dicken David Enzbrenner PDG Jack Ferguson PDG Gale Garges Mary Ann Garner Gay Gunning Dorothy Hamilton Lion Jim Hartley Lion Tom Hayes Irene Heckman Donneita Hightshoe Harold Isserlis Jerry Jeffrey
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