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History

RMLEB logo in multiple languages  Lions International Logo

Lions clubs have long been active in service to the blind and visually impaired and began providing support for eye banks more than 60 years ago. Today, there are over 60 Lions eye banks in nine countries. Through the dedication and commitment of Lions, thousands of men, women and children have received the “gift of sight.”

The Lions of Colorado and Wyoming founded the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank in 1982. Beginning with just a handful of donors, the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank is now recognized the world over for its eye banking expertise. In any language, RMLEB means service, quality and compassion. Our extensive international network has allowed eye donors from Colorado and Wyoming to restore sight to thousands of people throughout the world.

Corneas are first placed with local recipients. If a suitable local recipient cannot be found, the eye bank searches for a recipient elsewhere in the United States. Finally, if a suitable recipient cannot be found domestically, an international search takes place so that no transplantable eye tissue goes to waste for lack of a local recipient.

Throughout the years, RMLEB’s surroundings have changed as dramatically as the eye bank itself. Its first home was one room in Dawson Hall, the old nursing school at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver. The eye bank soon outgrew Dawson Hall and moved to other facilities. In 2001, however, RMLEB moved to its current state-of-the-art home at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.