Cornea donation

Portal Forums Cancer Basics General Cancer Basics Cornea donation

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Dr West Dr West 4 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
Author Posts   
Author Posts
February 25, 2014 at 8:46 am  #1262482    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

GRACE friends,

Repeating a post of mine from a couple years back, not long after my wife Liz passed from lung cancer:

I just wanted to write a few lines regarding the issue of cornea donation. Because of the possibility of the existence of cancer cells just about anywhere in the body, an advanced lung cancer patient’s ability to donate organs or other parts of the body is extremely limited. However, it is usually possible to donate one’s corneas in order to give someone another chance at sight.

When Liz passed, the hospital staff gave us information about such a donation, and that evening I called to give my consent (the sooner one gives consent, the greater the likelihood that the corneas can be used for transplantation to a recipient). The staff person I spoke to was extremely sensitive to my situation and helped me through the list of necessary medical history questions, which only took a few minutes. He also told me that in 2-3 weeks I would receive a letter informing me what had been done with the donated tissue; most of the time they can be given directly to a recipient although occasionally they are unsuitable for that purpose and if so, it is possible (but not required) to give consent to use the tissue for research purposes.

Yesterday I received that letter, which stated that Liz’ corneas had been given to a local man to restore his vision. I cannot tell you how happy it made me to know that Liz’ beautiful eyes live on, helping someone to be able to appreciate all the beauty this world has to offer.

The eye bank also has a procedure in which they act as an intermediary so that donor and recipient families can communicate with each other, and I plan to reach out to the recipient to tell him a little about Liz and how grateful I am that she could give him this precious gift.

So I would urge everyone to consider such a donation, not only for the help that it provides to the recipient, but also for the joy it can bring to the donor’s loved ones.


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then:

February 25, 2014 at 10:50 am  #1262483    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

How wonderful!

February 25, 2014 at 11:25 am  #1262485    


Jim, you and Liz are such a beautiful people. I salute you.

Wife, 56, Asian, 11/11 Dx Adenocarcinoma 3B, EGFR+. 12/11 Iressa, great response. 12/12 asymptomatic brain mets with possible lepto, 1/13 WBR, continue Iressa, 9/13 Local Progression at primary tumor, 10/13 focal radiation, 1/14 PET Scan:Tumor Resolution, continue Iressa, 6/14 PET shows flare up at same primary. 9/14 CT stable/MRI reappearance of brain mets, 4/15 stable brain mets, 5/15 increase in SUV and slight pleural effusion. 6/15 Afatinib + Cetuximab

February 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm  #1262496    

laya d.

Thanks Jim. . .


1/10 – My Mom (58) dx w/ NSCLC-Adeno 3a; 1 cycle of neoadjuvent Carbo/Alimta before finding out EGFR+ (Ex. 19), then switched to 7 wks of neoadjuvent Tarceva/150 mg (major shrinkage); 4/10 – right pneumonectomy; 6/10 started 3 rounds of adjuvent Cis/Alimta w/ concurrent chest radiation (7 wks); 8/10 – NED; 11/10 – small nodule in left lung; 1/11 – 3 small nodules in left lung, start Tarceva/100 mg; 4/11 – suspected sclerotic met to hip, continue w/ Tarceva, add XGEVA, brain MRI clear; 9/11 – solitary 3 cm met (adeno w/ T790m mutation) to cerebellum, surgery and gamma knife, up Tarceva to 150 mg; 11/11 – 2 left lung nodules growing, biopsy on 1 shows mutation from adeno to squamous (shocker!), brain MRI clear, continue Tarceva & Xgeva; 2/12 – brain MRI clear, CT scan, remaining nodule slightly bigger – – monitor for now, Tarceva (reduced to 100 mg) & Xgeva continued; 4/12 progression and rebiopsy (confirmed adeno), stop Tarceva, switch to Carbo/Alimta; 6/12 maintenanceAlimta; 8/12 back to Tarceva; 10/12 Gemzar; 11/16 difficulty breathing; 12/12 hospice initiated…my Mom passed away peacefully on 12/19/12. Heartbroken.

February 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm  #1262506    
Dr West
Dr West

A terrific point to make. Thanks so much!

-Dr. West

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.