NOTE TO MEDIA: A total of 13 photographers are represented in the exhibit. The eye bank's PR team can put you in touch with them. Contact us for a full list and bios. 720-848-3940 or firstname.lastname@example.org
John was born with keratoconus, a prgressive degenerative disease of the cornea. By the time he reached his 20s, John's vision had deteriorated significantly but special corrective contacts were able to hold the disease at bay for several years. In 2011, John's vision had deteriorated to the point where his only hope was cornea transplants. John received his first transplant in December 2013 and in the other eye 6 months later. In August of 2014, John completed an Ironman competition, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. John lives in Denver.
Russ was diagnosed with keratoconus at age 14. Throughout his high school years, Russ' vision became progressively worse and by the time he graduated, corneal transplantation was his only hope. Russ received his first transplant at age 18 (he still has that graft in his left eye today). His right eye required multiple transplants over the years but today is seeing 20/60 without correction. Russ recently retired, and he and his wife took the trip of a lifetime to Europe. Photos of this fantastic life trip can be seen in the photo project exhibit.
Patricia's story began with a cold sore and a scratch to her cornea. The scratch left her cornea vulnerable to the virus and it decimated the vision in her right eye, leaving her legally blind in her dominant eye. For 10 years, Patricia was told nothing could be done for her. She couldn't drive and lost so much detail in her vision. Everything changed, however, when she moved to Colorado. Her new opthalmologist in Denver was convinced Patricia could be helped by a cornea transplant. She received a transplant in December of 2014 and today is thrilled to see the beautiful scenery in our state. Her grandkids are also a sight she cherishes. Patricia has multiple photos in the exhibit of her new home state of Colorado.
Keratoconus quickly stole Shannon's eyesight while she was in college. She was diagnosed in May and was legally blind by November, when she received her first transplant. The other cornea was transplanted a year later in 1995. Unfortunately, both of those corneas began to fail after nearly 20 years. She couldn't drive, she needed special software to allow her to use her computer at work, and she was missing out seeing her four boys grow up and be kids. Shannon received new transplants in 2013 and 2014. Shannon's photo in the exhibit was taken at the end of a long day in the mountains with her family. "I feel like I lost a few years of my life. I was on the sidelines but not anymore."