March Is National Eye Donor Month – Celebrate the Gift of Sight!


Louisiana’s Eye Banks Unite in Celebration of National Eye Donor Month This March 

New Orleans, LA (March 6, 2017) –  Louisiana’s three eye banks, Southern Eye Bank in New Orleans, Baton Rouge Eye Bank and Lions Eye Institute in Shreveport, announced today, for the first time ever, a joint statewide eye donor awareness campaign in honor of National Eye Donor Month during March. First proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, National Eye Donor Month promotes eye donation awareness and celebrates the lives of eye donors and corneal recipients. During this year’s 34th annual celebration, Louisiana’s eye banks will promote eye donor awareness in OMVs statewide.

“Although preserving and restoring eyesight is the principal mission of our non-profit, education and awareness is equally important to our organization,” said Southern Eye Bank’s Executive Director, Joy Roussel. “Spreading awareness through our state’s OMVs is essential since most people make the decision to register to become an eye, tissue and organ donor while renewing or applying for a driver’s license.”

Over 48,000 Americans have their sight restored each year as a result of corneal transplants. Southern Eye Bank is one of 87 accredited members of the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) that provides the tissue to make these life-enhancing procedures possible.

Unlike other organs and tissue, U.S. eye banks secure a sufficient number of corneas to avoid shortages or waitlists. In fact, in 2016, eye banks in the U.S. provided over 130,000 whole eyes and corneas for domestic use, to patients overseas, and for research and training that may lead to preventative and restorative treatments for vision loss and eye damage.

Without the generosity of over 70,000 eye donors nationally each year, the above statistics would not be possible. Honoring their decision to donate their corneas upon death is the central aspect of the Eye Bank Association of America’s (EBAA) annual National Eye Donor Month commemoration.

Individuals interested in eye, tissue or organ donation should access their state registry through Southern Eye Bank’s website. Donor designation may also be made at OMVs across the state of Louisiana.

Please contact Susana Ruddock, at 504-891-3937 ext. 1003, or, to schedule a media appearance with Southern Eye Bank and for additional information about National Eye Donor Month.



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