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The mission of Lions Eye Institute Foundation is to support sight-related outreach, education, treatment and research.
First and foremost, the goal of Lions Eye Institute Foundation is to assure that any person who needs sight-saving/sight-restoring surgery will have access to that care, regardless of their ability to pay.
Equally, we fund programs that will enrich the quality of life for those whose sight medical miracles cannot restore, people who are blind or visually impaired (VI). In addition to its core mission, the Foundation supports the mission of the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research to restore sight and ultimately discover new cures for blinding eye disease. The Institute does this through the recovery, evaluation and distribution of eye tissue for transplantation, research and education.
The Foundation's young life is rooted in Tampa history. It is the brainchild of the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, Inc. (LEITR), founded by a group of Tampa Lions in 1973. Today, LEITR is the largest eye bank in the world. It has brought the gift of sight to more than 30,000 men, women and children through the recovery, evaluation and distribution of eye tissue for transplantation, research and education. Over the years however, Institute leaders saw many needs that they could not fulfill, particularly the unique, often unseen and unmet needs of blind and VI people. That is why in 2005 the Lions Eye Institute Foundation was established.
- Gail Messamore
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