Page 2 - LGS Today Spring 2022
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  Lions Gift of Sight
LGS Virtual Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Lions International. . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Community Events . . . . . . . . . . . 5 EBAA...................... 6 Physician Leadership Program . . 6 Spotlight on Research. . . . . . . . . 7 Donor Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Recipient Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . 8
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Lions Gift of Sight TODAY is published twice a year by the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Lions Gift of Sight
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences
1000 Westgate Drive - Ste 260 Saint Paul, MN 55114
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2 Lions Gift of Sight
 Our Capacity to Give
is Boundless
Sean Poppoff, Executive Director
Wishing all a very prosperous and peaceful spring. The topic I wish to touch on in this issue is a deeply personal one and relates to an April national observance: National Donate Life Month.
On April 1, Lions Gift of Sight launched Donate Life Month by inviting friends and part- ners to a Donate Life flag raising ceremony at University Enterprise Laboratories, the eye bank’s home since 2007. I was one of the speakers for the accompanying program, and, as executive director, I could have spoken about the life-changing work of Lions Gift of Sight, a fitting subject for the month. But I chose instead to share a more personal story that has profoundly influenced my life in the last year: my kidney donation.
In late 2021, I became a non-paired living kidney donor, also termed “non-directed living donor.” Such donors donate an organ (usually a kidney) without naming an intended recipient. There is no familial or friend tie prompting the donation and no expectation of reciprocity.
I hadn’t previously shared this information with many, so telling my story at a public event and writing about it in our newsletter is a little difficult. But my story will, perhaps inspire others, which is why I am pushing through the discomfort.
Non-directed living organ donors have be- come increasingly important to meeting the shortage of available organs from deceased donors. As someone with a very strong work ethic and an equally strong faith, as some- one who works in the altruistic field of eye donation, I wanted to be part of the chain of life that is set off by non-paired living do- nors. My left kidney went to a recipient in Chicago and touched lives in Oregon, Penn- sylvania, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, including the life of a pediatric patient.
The potential we all have to help fellow trav-
elers on this earth is boundless. In the end, the decision to become a living kidney donor was a not a difficult one for me to make, and I hope my story encourages others to consider all the possibilities. We can change one person’s life. We can change the world.

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