Become a Donor

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The cornea is the thin, transparent portion of the eye that allows light in. It is the size of a contact lens and may be donated up to 16 hours after the time of death. In this section you can find answers to questions like:

fullcorneaillustration What is the cornea?

The cornea is the thin, transparent portion of the eye. It is the main focusing element of the eye allowing light to pass through. Vision will be dramatically reduced if the cornea becomes cloudy or scarred from disease, injury or infection.

Can whole eyes be transplanted?

No. Only the cornea can be transplanted. The entire eye may be used for valuable research and education.
Research on glaucoma, retinal disease, eye complications due to diabetes and other sight disorders helps to advance the discovery of the cause and effects of these conditions. This then leads to new treatments and cures.

Who can become a donor?

Almost anyone! Cataracts, macular degeneration, poor eyesight, cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease or age do not prevent you from being a cornea and/or eye donor. It is important for individuals wanting to be donors to inform family members of their wishes.

If a person has already signed a donor card, a driver’s license, or signed up on Kentucky’s Donor Registry, how can they be sure that their wishes regarding donation will be respected? Tell your family you want to be a cornea donor. Donation is an end of life decision. If you are suitable for donation at your time of death, your family will be asked about cornea donation. So please, talk to your family about your decision.

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How can I become a donor?

By clicking the link below, you will be taken to Kentucky or Indiana’s Donor Registry website. This is a secure site where you can sign up online to become a donor. You will need to have either a driver’s license or state-issued ID in order to register.

Kentucky: www.donatelifeky.org

Indiana: www.donatelifeindiana.org