July: Lilly Karschner. Featured in 2023 Calendar.

July 2023 LifeCenter Calendar Story of Hope

When I was 6 years old, I received a cornea transplant from a family who made the noble decision for their child to be an organ and tissue donor. This family’s brave choice has changed my life for the better and given me the chance to continue to see this ever- changing world. Without them, I would have lost my eye completely. For a little context, I was hit in the eye with a puzzle piece, rupturing my cornea. After receiving the transplant, I was still considered legally blind in my left eye, but eventually was able to see 20/80 with glasses.

I’m now eighteen and was able to have PRK corrective laser eye surgery to help restore some vision to the eye. Surpassing all expectations, I can now see 20/25 without my glasses. Honestly, I never thought I would see with that eye again. For people considering being a donor, do it. You may not get to see it, but you will change and potentially impact so many lives—your generosity will have been well-worth it. To the kids and individuals my age who are going through this, I want you to know that you’re not alone. This process can feel incredibly isolating, but you are never truly alone in this. It is going to be scary, and it is going to be tough. You can do this. Your feelings are valid. But most of all, remember that others like you will understand.

– Lilly Karschner

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