Bloomington (April 21, 2014) –The Illinois Eye-Bank Bloomington and the Black and White, Night for Sight event chair and eye bank board member, Karen Magers, announce the honoree for the 3rd annual Black and White, Night for Sight Event. Dr. Robert M. Lee, esteemed ophthalmologist at the Gailey Eye Clinic, will be honored for his 20 years of providing renewed sight to central Illinois citizens through corneal transplantation, and for his unwavering support of the Illinois Eye-Bank’s mission.
The Illinois Eye-Bank works to preserve and restore sight, while also fostering medical advances in Ophthalmology by funding eye and vision research. These undertakings would not be possible without the efforts of passionate individuals like Dr. Lee, who has performed thousands of sight-restoring procedures during his career as a transplant surgeon. The eye bank helped facilitate 1,320 life-changing corneal transplants in Illinois in 2013, and provided an additional 1,459 tissues for research.
When it comes to fully appreciating the value of the eye bank’s services, no one can understand them quite like those who have regained their vision. Two such individuals are cornea recipients Linda Ellerman and Jeff Govednik. Linda and Jeff are now giving back to the eye bank as volunteer committee members for this year’s Night for Sight.
Both Linda and Jeff suffered severe vision loss several years ago before receiving corneal transplants with the assistance of the eye bank. Now, they each have substantially improved vision and are truly appreciative for the gift of sight. When describing her experience, Linda says, “Without the eye bank I would be blind. I’m just so thankful, and I feel like I need to volunteer my time to give this gift to others who so desperately need it as well.” This is Linda’s third year on the Night for Sight committee, and she can’t wait for the fun-filled event to show people how their donation can truly change another’s life.
Jeff describes his transplant as “…not just the gift of a cornea. I think of it as the gift of future experiences. It is the ability to witness your own impact on the world.” Today, Jeff makes a great effort to support the Illinois Eye-Bank, and is even performing his stand-up comedy act at the event.
To celebrate the work of Dr. Lee, and to help more individuals like Jeff and Linda, this year’s Night for Sight is being held on May 29, 2014 from 6-9:30pm at the Illinois State University Alumni Center. Tickets for the Parisian themed affair are $60. The event will include food, cocktails, music, a jewelry raffle and live auction. Proceeds from the event go to the Dr. John E. Randolph Memorial Fund in support of the Illinois Eye-Bank’s Gift of Sight Program, to cover the costs associated with corneal transplant surgery for those who could not otherwise afford the procedure.
For more information or to interview Karen Magers, Linda Ellerman or Jeff Govednik, please contact David Hearn at 312-469-5572, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Illinois Eye-Bank, a subsidiary of Midwest Eye-Banks, is a charitable, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of sight. The Eye-Bank recovers, evaluates and distributes human eye tissue for transplantation. The organization also supports research into the causes and cures of all blinding eye conditions, promotes donation awareness through public and professional education and provides humanitarian assistance to people in need of corneal transplantation throughout the world. For more information, visit the Illinois Eye-Bank at www.IllinoisEyeBank.org, or call 800-548-4703.