forSight 2018

Page 1

Remembering Rickey PAGE 4


In This Issue


Reflecting on a Year of Celebration and Looking Ahead

Expanding Technology, the Gratis Fund and the Eye Bank Landscape

Helping More People Than Ever


When a Simple Scratch Leads to a Serious Situation





Remembering Rickey LEBDV Board of Trustees Hope Restored Grateful Recipient Fundraises with Facebook

Above and Beyond Overseas


LEBDV Medical Advisory Board

Sixty Years of Service Saving Sight Charity Golf Classic Blinded in the Line of Duty

Give the Gift of Sight Today By the Numbers Upcoming Events

LEBDV Medical Advisory Board

Reflecting on a Year of Celebration and Looking Ahead

Helping More People Than Ever

Behind every life-changing procedure Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley helps coordinate stands an unparalleled team of corneal surgeons who serve as members of the Eye Bank’s Medical Advisory Board:

Sadeer B. Hannush, MD

It is with great pleasure I present this year's annual forSight newsletter. 2017 was dedicated to “Celebrating Sixty Years of Service Saving Sight!” and we did just that.

Serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley (LEBDV) has been a high honor. A project of Lions Clubs International for more than 60 years, your Eye Bank has helped restore vision to more than 44,000 people. Under the leadership of President and CEO Jim Quirk and the dedicated Eye Bank staff, LEBDV has become one of the most respected eye banks in the country, providing the highest-quality tissue. I am proud to say that the organization is helping more people than ever. I would like to thank our dedicated Board of Trustees who continue to devote their time and effort to guiding LEBDV into the future, with their only compensation being the knowledge that they are helping others. I would also like to honor the donors and their loving families who have chosen to give hope and life to another human being. It is my hope that families can take solace in the fact that their loved one’s gift truly leaves a legacy.

"Behind every successful transplant we aid is a team of individuals who work tirelessly. Our dedicated staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, surgeons, nurses, technicians and countless other donation professionals devote their time, talent and hearts to better the lives of others every single day."

On Saturday, November 18, Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley (LEBDV) celebrated our 60th anniversary at The Union League of Philadelphia. During the celebration, we had the privilege of honoring several distinguished individuals who have contributed immeasurably to the advances and milestones reached by both our Eye Bank and the transplantation community over the past 60 years. Mr. Joseph P. Bilson, Chief Executive Officer of Wills Eye Hospital; Mr. Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program; Mr. Gene Polgar, Past International Director of Lions Clubs International; and Irving M. Raber, MD, a leading national authority in the field of corneal transplantation, were each presented with well-deserved “Knight of the Blind” awards. Peter R. Laibson, MD, received the Sight Seeker Award in recognition of his half-century of service as Medical Director to LEBDV, and we welcomed with great enthusiasm our Keynote Speaker, Benjamin Roberts, MD, who dedicates his lifelong career to service at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. The celebration continued with several Gift of Sight Appreciation events, including Phillies and 76ers games. We hosted our 3rd Annual Cornea Transplant Recipient Luncheon, an event that has grown into a philanthropic and commemorative occasion, and our 23rd Annual Gift of Sight Charity Golf Classic raised an impressive $23,000 for LEBDV’s Gratis Tissue Program. We also continue to add and expand programs and encourage each of you to join us as advocates of the Eye Bank! Focusing on the families who make the Gift of Sight possible, LEBDV is launching a new program to express gratitude. A collection of letters and quotes to memorialize heroic donors who gave the ultimate gift will soon be distributed to each donor’s family. Learn more about writing to your donor’s family or sharing your Gift of Sight story by contacting the Eye Bank. In addition, LEBDV is continuing to implement our strategic plan by doubling our capacity to provide tissue for layer-specific cornea transplant surgery. I would like to acknowledge everyone who has helped make this past year a wonderful success. Behind every successful transplant we aid is a team of individuals who work tirelessly. Our dedicated staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, surgeons, nurses, technicians and countless other donation professionals devote their time, talent and hearts to better the lives of others every single day.

It has been an incredible and rewarding year. I would like to extend a special thank-you to all those who helped and supported our mission throughout the year. You make a difference.

I hope you enjoy reading about the journeys of cornea recipients from impaired vision to renewed sight. As you glance through this issue of forSight, please keep in mind the families who lost a loved one and chose to create a legacy of sight. Jim Quirk President and CEO

PDG William J. Sauser Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Peter R. Laibson, MD


A SERIOUS SITUATION What should have been a normal school day for Carly, then a senior at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Burlington County, New Jersey, turned into a scary and sight-compromising experience in the blink of an eye. After rubbing her itchy eyes one morning, Carly accidentally scratched her cornea. Although she tried to make it through the day, the school nurse finally sent Carly home due to extreme sensitivity to sunlight. Carly immediately visited her ophthalmologist at South Jersey Eye Physicians where she was diagnosed with a corneal abrasion and prescribed antibiotic eye drops and cream. However, Carly’s eye problems were about to become much more serious. That night, Carly’s eye ulcerated—the scratch became an open sore on her cornea. “At that point I couldn’t see,” she recalls. “It was a very sudden change that was very scary and very painful. The light was so unbearable that I had to stay in the basement.” With her condition worsening, Carly visited Stephen E. Orlin, MD, at the Scheie Eye Institute. Dr. Orlin prescribed eye drops every hour and, after her condition became worse, every half hour. During this agonizing time, Carly couldn’t see out of her right eye. Three months later, the eye infection finally began to heal, but Carly was left with a scar that covered most of her eye.

Medical Director

Carly ran into more difficulties after being prescribed a corrective lens. “It was a frustrating experience because my lens would fit my eye one day, but then my condition would change and the lens had to be remade. Even with the lens, I still had trouble seeing because of the air bubbles that would form due to an improper fit.” Frustrated with the corrective contact lens, and feeling as though she had exhausted all of her options, Carly was given new hope when Dr. Orlin suggested a corneal transplant. “I remember coming out of surgery with a patch on my eye, so I couldn’t tell that there was any difference,” Carly says. “One day after surgery I went in to get the patch removed and check my vision. It was so much clearer than before that I started crying.” Now a freshman at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Carly majors in International Relations. She supports Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley at different functions and was happy for the opportunity to write to her donor’s family. “I am just really grateful and honored that they would think of me like that.”


Robert Abel, MD

Brandon D. Ayres, MD

Kristin Hammersmith, MD

Stephen E. Orlin, MD

Irving M. Raber, MD


Expanding Technology, the Gratis Fund and the Eye Bank Landscape One of the first eye banks in the United States, Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley (LEBDV) provides the Gift of Sight through corneal transplantation to more than 1,000 people living in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware annually.

"Focusing on cuttingedge technology and the recovery, processing and distribution of highquality tissue, LEBDV celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017. It remains at the forefront of technology, research and education."

Medical Director

Focusing on cutting-edge technology and the recovery, processing and distribution of high-quality tissue, LEBDV celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017. It remains at the forefront of technology, research and education. I have been with the organization for almost three decades and have served as Medical Director for the last decade. It is indeed a privilege to be associated with LEBDV and its team of professionals who bring the Gift of Sight to so many in the Delaware Valley and beyond. After years of providing tissue for full-thickness corneal transplantation (approximately 1/50th of an inch thick), in 2005 we began providing tissue for selective corneal layer transplantation such as Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK)—tissue that is 1/250th of an inch thick—and in 2013 Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK)—tissue that is less than 1/1,000th of an inch thick! To be able to offer such advanced technology, we’ve had to change our physical space, acquire equipment, train technicians, and

implement new procedures and methods. This year we expanded our laboratory space, adding a new laminar flow hood and allowing room for another operative microscope. We continue to expand our gratis fund, established by our President and CEO, Jim Quirk, and supported by our Board of Trustees and its Chairman, PDG William Sauser. This fund makes corneal transplantation possible for uninsured and underinsured recipients. It has also enabled us to use our surplus tissue on mission trips to distant lands, where access to corneal transplantation remains rare at best. Despite the rapidly changing eye banking landscape, LEBDV is committed to upholding its longstanding mandate of giving light to those living in darkness. We thank you for your continued support of Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley and look forward to the next Sixty Years of Service Saving Sight! Sadeer B. Hannush, MD Medical Director

“Saving someone’s sight is an incredible privilege,” Dr. Feldman says.

Christopher Rapuano, MD

Brad H. Feldman, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologist specializing in corneal transplantation, cataract surgery and laser vision correction. He joined the Philadelphia Eye Associates and Wills Eye Hospital after completing his fellowship at the Duke University Eye Center.

performing surgery on as many patients as possible. The model has shifted from this short-term intervention, to building partnerships within countries and focusing on the long-term impact not just for an individual, but for a region, system and country.”

In addition to being a highly skilled surgeon, a husband and the loving father of two-year-old twins, Dr. Feldman goes above and beyond to help impoverished populations suffering from high rates of blindness and visual disability. As the founding director of the Wills Eye Hospital Center for Academic Global Ophthalmology, Dr. Feldman focuses on eliminating blindness and improving healthcare quality overseas through training eye physicians and surgeons where they are needed most in the world.

Restoring people’s vision is very gratifying for Dr. Feldman. He also travels overseas twice a year to create educational programs and mentoring systems. “Saving someone’s sight is an incredible privilege,” Dr. Feldman says. “What I enjoy even more is watching those I have taught do the same.” Grateful for his partnership with LEBDV and the gratis tissue it supplies, he trains high-quality surgeons in countries where they’re needed most.

In countries like Rwanda and Haiti, for example, there is often only one surgical ophthalmologist per one million people. In these instances, vision can be the difference between survival and death, and countless patients who need a corneal transplant are forced to spend their entire lives in darkness. “We know that when you can’t see, your life expectancy shortens dramatically, with studies reporting up to 60% mortality for children within one year of becoming blind in the developing world,” says Dr. Feldman. To address the lack of sufficient cornea tissue in these countries, Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley (LEBDV) supports local surgeons—like Dr. Feldman—by donating cornea tissue from the Eye Bank’s Gratis Tissue Program. “It is our distinct honor and privilege to partner with gifted surgeons like Dr. Feldman to bring the Gift of Sight to those living in darkness,” says LEBDV President and CEO Jim Quirk.

"Bringing donated corneas from LEBDV, observing a surgery on a patient with bilateral disease and watching the doctor congratulate an ecstatic patient who has just regained sight is extremely rewarding,” says Dr. Feldman. “When I leave, there is now a patient who is going to see well and a doctor who can do the work that I can’t do when I'm not there. It is an extraordinary feeling.” He adds, “There is nothing in the world like giving someone their sight back. For a blind patient who lost their vision and regains it, it is a type of rebirth. The joy expressed by patients is very powerful and incredibly contagious. Witnessing a previously blind parent, one who has never seen their child or their grandchild, open their eyes and see their loved ones for the first time is a magical and spiritual experience. Our ability to make these moments happen depends on so many contributors, from the surgical innovators, to those who teach ophthalmology, to the generous individuals and their families who make corneal tissue donation possible.”

Dr. Feldman explains, “Traditionally, ophthalmologists would volunteer during quick surgical mission trips, traveling to certain areas in need and 2


2018 |

forSight forSight





Correcting a Painful Heritage

Raising 14 children is no small task, especially while suffering from a painful, debilitating eye condition. But for Anna Maria, who was raising her family in northwest Pennsylvania, this struggle was a day-to-day reality. Although Anna Maria was never diagnosed and eventually went blind, her hereditary eye disease would ultimately affect 50 family members, including seven of her nine surviving children. Three generations later, the frustrated family finally found relief—and a solution—thanks to Wills Eye Hospital.

A Family Tradition

“If this could help another child not have to go through what I do, then let’s do it.”

In 1902, Anna Maria gave birth to Irma, one of several daughters. After having four children of her own, Irma began experiencing the all-too-familiar symptoms that had plagued her mother. Continuing the painful heritage, Irma’s daughter Patty also began experiencing discomfort.

Giving back was natural for Richard Scott Colomy, Jr., III. Despite being born with a vascular malformation that required endless doctor’s appointments, follow-up visits, surgeries and medical therapies, Richard, better known as Rickey, was committed to helping others.

A Diagnosis at Last

Dawn adds, “Something that impressed me about my son was that nobody even knew he was sick. Despite everything he had gone through—intensive, invasive surgeries that would take a toll on anyone’s body and mind—Rickey always smiled,” she says. “I think that’s what always captivated people. The nurses and surgical coordinators would say that his smile was infectious.”

On January 13, 2015, Rickey underwent his eighteenth surgery. It took longer than expected and, despite his signature smile, Rickey seemed concerned. “He told me something was different,” Dawn says, “but he couldn’t explain what it was.” As part of his recovery, Rickey had to give himself injections twice a day. Although he was sore, Rickey, who was never one to sit around, began leaving the house again. He went out to visit his girlfriend, and called his mother that night to check in. “I said, ‘I love you, buddy,’” Dawn recalls. “He said, ‘I love you too, Momma.’ That was the last time I talked to my son.” Later that night, Rickey, age 21, suffered a pulmonary embolism and passed away.

A Friend to All Rickey’s death was devastating for all who knew him. He had a wide range of friends, and his open heart and accepting attitude left a lasting impression on everyone. Dawn recalls how Rickey helped a childhood friend. “There was a young lady that Rickey had been friends with since grade school. Her family didn’t have a lot of money, and the medicine this girl needed would make her nauseous if she took it on an empty stomach,” Dawn explains. “I found out later that Rickey would bring chips and soda to homeroom every day so the girl would take her medicine. He had a profound impact on that young lady.” Rickey also had a profound impact on his mother’s life. Before his death, Rickey introduced Dawn to John, his friend’s father. “John kept asking me to go out with him,” recalls Dawn, “and I remember thinking, ‘What is wrong with him?’” Although she wanted to cancel a coffee date, Rickey encouraged her to go. Rickey’s instincts were correct. John made Dawn the happiest she had been in a long time, and the two were married. Rickey loved John. “Rickey introduced me to my husband,” says Dawn. “He made sure that I was taken care of before he left.”

Leaving a Legacy of Sight After Rickey’s passing, Dawn honored her son’s wishes to donate his corneas. “It was a decision he made completely on his own,” Dawn says. “I wasn’t surprised he wanted to be a donor. I couldn’t be more proud, I couldn’t be more pleased. Giving back is Richard.” Rickey’s donation saved the sight of two thankful recipients. With help from Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, Dawn wrote letters to the two men who received Rickey’s corneas. “I wanted to make sure the recipients saw all of the beauty that my son saw in people,” Dawn says.

2 017 –2 01 8

LEBDV Board of Trustees

Executive Officers PDG William J. Sauser, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Angel “Bob” Perez Immediate Past Chairman PCT Ann E. Reiver 1st Vice Chairperson PDG Earl Groendyke 2nd Vice Chairman PDG Philip E. Shober Secretary/Treasurer Lion Rev. Frederick S. Richardett Chaplain



Eternally Grateful

The presence of the symptoms was understandably scary for Patty, who was well aware of the effects of the condition. But she would eventually become the catalyst for change and relief that the family so desperately needed.

Rickey frequently offered his blood, saliva and time during research studies at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). If given an opportunity to donate, his response was simple: “When and where?” “He was always thinking about other people,” Rickey’s mother, Dawn, recalls, “and he never expected anything in return.”

A Life Cut Short

Irma Mildred Cederquist (Ellen's Mother) and Carol Storm (Ellen's Daughter)

In 1967, Patty visited Wills Eye Hospital, seeking a solution to her condition. Much to her surprise, her ophthalmologist, Peter R. Laibson, MD, promptly diagnosed Patty with Lattice Corneal Dystrophy (LCD), an inherited condition in which abnormal proteins build up in the cornea causing eye pain, cloudiness and, in the absence of a corneal transplant, complete loss of vision. After decades of suffering, the family that had long been robbed of the Gift of Sight felt a sense of hope.

Dr. Laibson and Dr. Rapuano wearing the swimming medals they received as a thank-you from Ellen.

In March 2017, Dawn received a letter of gratitude from one of the men. “It was such a blessing for my family to read this letter,” says Dawn. Then, in March 2018, Dawn received a letter from the second cornea recipient. “This young man was 25 years old. He told me he can see, play sports and lead a normal life because of Rickey. I was so thankful these two men took the time to write these letters, and the time to know who Richard was and why he chose to donate. These two men are now part of my extended family.”

With the condition identified, Dr. Laibson corrected Patty’s condition, and he also performed corneal transplants on her other family members.

“Child loss will truly rip you from everything that you are,” says Dawn. “It has been a long journey, but I continue to hear Rickey in my ear. After every surgery that Rickey would have, I would say to him, ‘You don’t give up, you keep fighting, you keep going.’ That’s what I keep hearing in my head: ‘Don’t give up, keep fighting, you’re not a quitter.’ The days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed, those are the words I hear. It’s hard, and I do struggle some days, but then I think of Richard and I know I have to get up and keep going.”

“It was a gift,” says Ellen, Patty’s sister, who was born in Darby, Pennsylvania, in 1935. Ellen remembers when their mother, Irma, was put on a waiting list for a cornea transplant in the ’70s. “After being notified that a cornea was available for transplant, my father had to get my mother to the hospital within two hours,” she recalls.

Ellen’s Story

Luckily—thanks to updated legislative efforts, donor education and advancing eye-banking recovery techniques—Ellen, who also has LCD, never had to be placed on a waiting list. Instead, she was able to schedule her corneal transplant surgery with surgeon Dr. Laibson. “Before the transplant, it was awful,” explains Ellen. “With erosions you have a lot of pain, and I had to use antibiotic eye drops and ointment to help with the discomfort. I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t knit, I really couldn’t do anything!”

Rickey is survived by his mother, Dawn, his sister, Emerson, his stepfather, John, and many family members who miss him terribly. "There are no goodbyes for us," says Dawn. "Wherever you are, you will be in my heart, Richard."

The surgery was transformative for Ellen, who worked as a registered nurse at Crozer-Chester Medical Center for 35 years. These days, thanks to her improved vision, Ellen enjoys playing the ukulele with her grandchildren and participating in their activities. She also volunteers at the Drexel Hill Presbyterian Church, where she feeds the homeless.


Rickey struggled after his father passed away, and Dawn saw the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) as a good opportunity for him. Hesitant at first, Rickey ended up falling in love with the ROTC program. “It helped him both emotionally and physically during that time,” Dawn says. “It quickly became his life’s dream to be in the army.” After completing an ROTC obstacle course within the top 10 in his class, Rickey was scouted by several military recruiters. “He was competing against kids who weren’t sick,” says Dawn. When the recruiters found out about Rickey’s condition, however, he was disqualified from enlisting. “That broke his heart,” remembers Dawn. Instead, Rickey, who had been going to the Armory with John, started training with the Armory and participating in shadow visits so he could still work closely with the military. Unfortunately, Rickey passed before the job with the Armory became available. His high school has since decided to name their ROTC equipment room after Rickey.

LEBDV Board of Trustees PDG John E. Allen PDG George Bonadio PID Melvyn K. Bray Lion Joseph Cutolo, Jr. PDG James Davis PDG Robert L. Elsner PDG Fred Frisch PCS Marion S. Goldberg Lion Mark M. Green PDG David E. Jones PDG Robert C. Millea

Ellen Grace and daughter Jennie Dunnigan, YMCA.

“After my transplant, I saw an improvement in my vision within 48 hours. I could see blades of grass, I could see flowers and read my books. I could see the faces of my grandchildren!”

While the identification of the condition has brought the family immeasurable relief, the condition still continues to affect younger generations. “Two of my children are the fourth generation to have LCD,” says Ellen. “They haven’t needed a transplant yet, but they are using antibiotic eye drops and ointment.”

PDG Walter L. Labs

Lion Nelson Moeller

PID Robert W. Moore

PCC Mary Devon O’Brien

Lion Bruce D. Pollock

Lion Arthur Pecht

PDG David L. Smith

PZC Christopher Smith PDG Keith L. Thompson PDG Richard H. Wilson PDG Richard W. Zimmermann, Jr. Privileged Board Members PDG Herbert T. Gerhart PDDG William G. Hansen PDG Barry L. Hinkle

Trustee Legal Advisor PCC Albert Olizi, Esq. Honorary Board Members PCC Joseph T. Bocklage Lion Herbert E. McMahon Lion Robert Perry Lion John J. Reese

“I presented them each with one of my swimming medals as a way of thanking them for giving me and the members of my family our lives back,” explains Ellen. “I’ve had four transplants, and my vision is amazing. Everyone in the family considers those involved in the transplant process a hero.” “I continue to see many patients Dr. Laibson performed corneal transplants on years ago,” says Dr. Rapuano. "And, for inherited conditions such as LCD, I now see many of their family members too. Ellen is a special person. She brightens up the office with her smile whenever she walks in! Taking care of patients such as Ellen is the reason corneal surgeons do what we do." Ellen and her family members are eternally grateful to the cornea donors and donor families who restored her family’s vision— and their hope. “Giving the Gift of Sight gives a person a renewed sense of hope and a new life,” she explains. “I don’t think people who do not have eye problems realize how truly wonderful this gift is. Without your eyes, you really are debilitated. I want people to realize what a life-changing gift they are providing through donation.”

GRATEFUL RECIPIENT FUNDRAISES WITH FACEBOOK What do you want for your birthday? For Anne Green, a marketing professional in Newark, Delaware, the answer was clear: she wanted to support Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley. Using an unlikely source—Facebook—Anne raised $900 for the Gratis Tissue Program, which supports people who do not have access to or the resources for a transplant.

PDG James J. Minnich

Throughout her journey, Ellen has had the privilege of being cared for by Dr. Laibson and Christopher Rapuano, MD, and both men have played an important role in restoring her vision. To express her gratitude, Ellen, who swam competitively for U.S. Masters Swimming and now pursues her passion four times a week at the local YMCA and during the annual Keystone Games of Pennsylvania, presented Dr. Laibson and Dr. Rapuano with her swimming medals.

It all began one morning when Anne awoke with dry eyes. Rubbing them, she immediately felt the pain caused by a corneal abrasion in her right eye. Corneal abrasions, or scratched corneas, are one of the most common eye injuries, and they result from a disruption or loss of cells in the top layer of the cornea, known as the epithelium. Anne had to have a corneal transplant to correct the issue. In the interim, her doctor prescribed eye drops and a special contact lens to cover the abrasion and stabilize the eye. While the drops and lens provided some relief, she had to refrain from some of her favorite activities, including exercising and flying on a plane. With her day-to-day routine disrupted, Anne found the inspiration to help others who could benefit from the same corrective surgery that would allow her to eventually resume her routine. Soon after, she launched the Facebook fundraising page. To spread awareness, Anne wrote a detailed post about her upcoming transplant surgery, asking her friends and family to support the Eye Bank that was helping her along her journey.

“What a blessing that we have organizations like this at the ready, making sure we have a bank of corneas ready for people, like me, who need them,” she wrote. Anne also included a picture that she drew of her eye and added, “And hey…while you’re at it…consider making sure you have signed what you need to sign to donate your organs and that you have let your family know your wishes. It’s important. You can’t use [your organs] where you’re going anyway!” In addition to donating the $900 from the fundraiser, Anne also expresses gratitude to the family who made the decision to donate their loved one’s corneas. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she says. “It has given me the freedom to pursue the things I love. One day, I’ll be able to see my grandkids with both eyes, and I thank you for that.”

2018 |

forSight forSight


Sixty Years of Service Saving Sight In honor of “Sixty Years of Service Saving Sight,” Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley hosted a sixtieth anniversary celebration at The Union League of Philadelphia on Saturday, November 18. America’s Got Talent semifinalist Christian Guardino kicked off the event with performances of the National Anthem and Who’s Lovin’ You—the Jackson 5 song that blew judges away during his America’s Got Talent audition. Guardino, who suffers from Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), joined other eye disease sufferers and corneal transplant recipients who have benefited from improved vision thanks to the work of the LEBDV doctors, nurses, donation professionals and donor families who help provide the Gift of Sight. In addition to recognizing LEBDV’s success over the past sixty years, the celebration honored four men who helped the organization reach its historic milestone:

Save the Date

Many Thanks to Our 2017 Golf Sponsors & Contributors Visionary Sponsor Gift of Life Donor Program



Flag Sponsors Connell, Carey & Associates Delaware Eye Surgeons Eversight New Jersey Friedman LLP G & M Sales Jim & Michelle Quirk PDG George Bonadio Wills Eye Hospital Contest & Named Sponsors Lion Norman & Sandy Imaoka Ophthalmic Partners Tipton Communications Wills Eye Hospital

Woodcrest Country Club 300 East Evesham Road Cherry Hill, NJ 08003


11 a.m. . . . . . . . . . . Registration & Lunch

Beginning at 6 p.m.

12:30 p.m. . . . . . . . Tee Off Joseph P. Bilson Chief Executive Officer of Wills Eye Hospital

Howard M. Nathan President and Chief Executive Officer of Gift of Life Donor Program

Cost: . . . . . . . . . . . . $149 per Golfer

Irving Raber, MD, FRCS(C) Ophthalmic Partners

A Soldier Expresses Gratitude

“I don’t remember exactly what happened,” recalls Vietnam veteran Specialist Procida. “There was an explosion from a mine of some kind, and then I couldn’t see.” After serving in Vietnam for five months and 19 days, Specialist Procida returned to the United States completely blind in both eyes. He was awarded two Purple Heart Medals—a U.S. Military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving in the military—but the battle was far from over. Initially, after a year of perseverance and several eye surgeries, some of Specialist Procida’s vision slowly returned. “It wasn’t the best, but it was good enough that I could go on with my life,” he explains. Forty-seven years later, however, Specialist Procida’s vision began to worsen. He spoke with his ophthalmologist, Irving M. Raber, MD, about several sight-saving options, and it was decided



Vicki & Al Piccotti Wilson Safe Company Auction Sponsors Adventure Aquarium Battleship NJ Brookside Country Club Bucks County Baseball Cards Eastern State Penitentiary Eastlyn Golf Course Greate Bay Country Club Harry’s Savoy Grill Jerilyn & Nick Giardina Lion Mark & Nancy Green Lion Norman & Sandy Imaoka Longwood Gardens Memorabilia for Charities

National Constitution Center National Museum of American Jewish History Paul’s Custom Awards & Trophies PID Ted & PCT Ann Reiver PDG Jim & Pat Davis Philadelphia Phillies PID Melvyn & Ginny Bray Richard Zimmermann, Jr. Sesame Place Seven Stars Inn Stone Harbor Golf Club The Grand Opera House Windsor Suites Woodcrest Country Club


After providing for your loved ones, consider making a lasting difference by making a gift to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley in your will. Simply name Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley as a beneficiary when writing your will or, if you already have a will, add a codicil amending it to include us. For your convenience, we’ve provided language you may use in your estate plan: “I give, devise and bequeath to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization located at 401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305, Philadelphia, PA 19123, EIN 23-1513699, [insert here the sum or percentage] for its unrestricted general use and purposes.”

■■ Awards ■■ Auctions


Putting Contest—$500

Dinner Buffet—$1,500


Flag— $1,000

Ad/Back Cover—$350



Giveaway Bag—$750


Gratis Tissue Program Who benefits from the Endowment Fund? When a local doctor calls the Eye Bank because his or her patient needs a cornea transplant but doesn’t have the resources to pay, the Eye Bank provides gratis tissue for transplant. The Eye Bank believes a person's ability to pay should not be a barrier to their ability to see.

Mail a Check

(payable to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley) to 401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305 Philadelphia, PA 19123

By the Numbers

Here’s a look at Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley’s financials for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

Tissue distribution

that the best course of action was to move forward with corneal transplant surgery in both eyes. In November of 2017, Specialist Procida received a corneal transplant in his right eye. In spite of some difficulties, he remains patient and very hopeful that he will experience improvement in his vision before tackling the second eye. After his corneal transplant surgery, Specialist Procida received a Cornea Recipient Packet, which included information on how to thank his donor’s family for making the selfless decision to donate their loved one’s corneas. He took the opportunity to write to the family of the donor who made the Gift of Sight a reality for him. Tissue distribution “I am grateful for my donor family and I am so sorry for Contributions 4% their loss,” he says. “I am also grateful for my surgeon, Investment income Dr. Raber, and the Eye Bank for giving me the opportunity 11% to thank my donor family.”


Specialist Procida lives with his wife of 32 years, Sheila. He enjoys vacationing in Florida and roller skating in rinks across the country. Because of the generous gift of an eye donor, Specialist Procida can pursue his passions for many years to come.

Donate Online


Visit and click on “Donate to your Eye Bank today!”

1-800-743-6667 to donate with a credit card.

EYE BANK SUPPORT AT WORK Through the generosity of donor families and financial supporters, the Eye Bank recorded the following clinical outcomes ending December 31, 2017:



PCC Joseph Bocklage PCC Mary Devon O’Brien PDG Jim & Lion Pat Davis PDG Jim Minnich PID Robert W. Moore PID Melvyn Bray, PDG John Allen & PDG Earl Groendyke PID Ted & PCT Ann Reiver Pottstown Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, Inc. Pottstown-Stowe Lions Club Rock Team Rayles Sales Spring Garden Wash & Lube T.J. Eckardt Associates, Inc.

Consult your attorney, tax advisor or financial advisor before making a bequest.

■■ Dinner Buffet: $39 per Person


Gene Polgar Past International Director of Lions Clubs International and Former President of Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley

Hole Sponsors Beringer Technology Group Bob & Carmen Perez Comprehensive Business Services Custom Travel Services D’Antonio’s Catering Dr. & Mrs. Rob Abel Faulkner Buick GMC— West Chester

Gordon O’Brien Haddonfield Lions Club Impact Office Supplies JCR Systems Roofing In Memory of James Fogle, Sr. & Tiffany Sheppard-Fogle Intellitec Solutions John & Donna Krawczyk Lore’s Chocolates Martelli Florists Max Rice & Family New Castle Insurance, Ltd. Ora L. Wooster Funeral Home, Inc. Paoli-Berwyn-Malvern Lions Club

Give the Gift of Sight Today


Club Sponsors Five Points Car Wash & Detail Center Sadeer Hannush, MD Southland Medical Corporation The Weidner Group


Contributions 4% Investment income


Program 87% Management 8% Fundraising 5%

Corneal Tissue Donors—797 Tissue Gifted—1,590 Corneal Tissue Gifted for Transplant Surgery—1,074 Corneal Tissue Gifted for Education, Training and Research—793

EXPENSES Program 87% Management 8% Fundraising 5%

Since 1957, Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley has coordinated more than 44,000 corneal transplant surgeries at the request of donor families and their loved ones.

DONOR PROFILE: 2017 Ages 1 to 10 = <1% Ages 11 to 20 = 3.6% Ages 21 to 40 = 11%

Ages 41 to 60 = 51% Ages 61 to 70 = 32% Ages 70+ = 1.8%

Note: Includes corneal tissue imports

2018 |

forSight forSight


Nonprofit Org U.S. Postage PAID Southeastern, PA Permit No. 38

401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305 Philadelphia, PA 19123



2018 UPCOMING EVENTS Join Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley’s community by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. @LionsEyeBankDV Learn more by visiting our website at

Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) 57th Annual Meeting Hosted by Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley June 6–9, 2018, at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel

Transplant Games of America August 2–7, 2018, in Salt Lake City, UT

24th Annual Gift of Sight Charity Golf Classic

August 10, 2018, at the Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, NJ

November is National Eye Donation Month Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley 401 North 3rd Street, Suite 305 Philadelphia, PA 19123 (215) 563-1679 The 2018 forSight newsletter was edited by Jerilyn Giardina.

4th Annual Cornea Transplant Recipient Luncheon TBD