Family Services

Donors & Recipients

Without the generosity of donors and their families, the ability to enhance the lives of others through the preservation and restoration of sight would not be possible. At Iowa Lions Eye Bank, we provide a variety of services for the families of donors to remember and honor their loved one, and for recipients to thank those that gave the gift of sight. 

Donor Families

The process of corneal transplantation would not be possible without the selfless act of donation, and through donation, a life becomes a legacy. Iowa Lions Eye Bank offers opportunities for donor families to share the stories of their loved one and create lasting memorials. 

Donor Memorial Healing Garden eye mosaic
Iowa Lions Donor Memorial & Healing Garden

Visit the memorial located outside the main entrance of University of Iowa Health Care-University Campus.


Attendees at the Celebration of Hope and Renewal
Celebration of Hope and Renewal

Each year, Iowa Lions Eye Bank holds the Celebration of Hope and Renewal ceremony in the Iowa Lions Donor Memorial and Healing Garden. 


Calligraphy pen
Corresponding with Recipients

Connect with the recipients of your loved one's gift. 


Leaf keepsake ornament
Keepsakes to Donor Families

Iowa Lions Eye Bank provides memorial gifts to families. 



For many years, the eye bank has facilitated written communication between donor family members and cornea transplant recipients, maintaining a policy that respects and advocates anonymity for all concerned. In 2010, Iowa Lions Eye Bank created the Gratitude is the Best Attitude program which provides recipients with all the tools needed to connect with their donor's families to say thank you for their loved one's gift and share how their life has changed since their transplant.

Gratitude is the Best Attitude packets are enclosed with the surgeon’s paperwork and sent with the cornea designated for the patient’s transplant. Attached instructions direct the corneal surgeon to present the packet to the recipient on the day of surgery. Contents of the packet include a personal letter from the medical director of Iowa Lions Eye Bank; a unique, blank note card; and various materials that strongly encourage and instruct the recipient’s timely expression of gratitude, along with suggestions of items to discuss in this correspondence.

Once correspondence has been mailed and received by the eye bank, the family services coordinator becomes the "go-between" for donor families and recipients to encourage, receive, track, and forward all written correspondence. 

Share your Story

We are always interested in hearing the stories of how Iowa Lions Eye Bank has been part of a life-changing journey through corneal donation and transplantation.

If you would like to share your story directly with us, please use the links below and complete the forms. We often feature these items in the "news" section of our website, on our Facebook page, and in our bi-monthly e-newsletter.

Share a donor story

Share a recipient story

Join our email list to receive Iowa Lions Eye Bank updates and read stories shared by our donor families and recipients.