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The gift of sight is one of the best you can give to others

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Since 1983, Eye Bank Association of America has secured sponsors for the congressional proclamation of National Eye Donor Month; this year’s proclamation will be sponsored by Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois. The New Mexico Lions Eye Bank received its proclamation from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez for March 2014 making it “National Eye Donor Month.”

This March marks the 31st Annual National Eye Donor Month. The New Mexico Lions Eye Bank is celebrating this event by spreading the word on how important eye, organ, and tissue donation is in helping improve and save lives. National Eye Donor Month encourages all Americans to register as donors of eyes, organs and tissues.

Approximately 11.4 million Americans experience severe visual problems that are not correctable by glasses and eye donations provide a precious second chance at clear vision for those with ocular diseases. More than 700,000 corneal transplants have been performed to restore sight to children as young as one day old and adults as old as 103. Each year Eye Banks across the country provide approximately 52,000 corneal grafts for transplantation.

Thankfully and miraculously, through eye donation and corneal transplants, vision that’s been lost to disease or injury or infection can be restored with a 90 percent success rate.

We give thanks to eye Donors and their families who have offered one last remarkable gift because they had the foresight to become eye, organ and tissue donors.

At New Mexico Lions Eye Bank, we devote every day to the science, health and hope of connecting lives through donation and transplantation in New Mexico. But we can’t fulfill our mission and combat the staggering disparity in those who need transplants and available donors.

Currently, over 1.2 million New Mexican’s have made a decision to donate life by registering to be eye, organ and tissue donors through their driver’s license, ID card, or the New Mexico Donor Registry.

If you would like more information about eye donation, you can visit the Lions Eye Bank website at http://www.nmleb.org/.

Remember, you can sign up as an eye, organ and tissue donor when you register for or renew your driver’s license or ID card. Of course, you don’t have to wait until your next visit to the MVD to join. You can also visit NMdonor.org today and follow the simple instructions to complete the registry sign-up.

If you do not have a driver’s license or Internet access, you may sign up by requesting a donor registration form by calling New Mexico Donor Services at 505-843-7672.

On behalf of those awaiting a transplant, I encourage you to join the more than 1 million New Mexicans who have already committed to giving the gift of sight and life.

It’s easy, and this small gesture can make a massive impact and save a life.

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