Meet the participants of the Circle of Light Photo Project
The cornea transplant recipients who participated in this year's Circle of Light Photo Project come from a wide variety of locations and backgrounds. Yet, each had their lives transformed by the generosity of another person through eye tissue donation and transplantation. While many cornea recipients regain their sight in total, some still live with vision loss due to other complications in the eye. Nonetheless, each is eternally thankful to their donors. Today, we'd like you to meet Barry Meinster.
Barry Meinster had radial keratotomy several years ago. This procedure was once a common way to correct nearsightedness and he was able to see great for nearly ten years. Over time, his vision slowly deteriorated to the point where it wasn’t able to be corrected with contact lenses or glasses. Barry wore sclera lenses for several years, which helped some, but his right eye eventually developed an infection and he could no longer wear that lens. He was blind in his right eye, seeing only light and dark shades. His doctor then recommended a cornea transplant. In February 2019, he underwent corneal transplant surgery on his right eye. “I am still in the recovery stage, but I can see! I don’t consider myself blind anymore.” His left eye still needs correction through a contact lens. One of the things Barry is most thankful for after surgery is the fact that he once again has depth perception. Barry used to love to play tennis, but when he lost his sight in his right eye he had to give it up because he had no depth perception. Once his transplant heals, and he gets the all-clear from his doctor, he hopes to play again. He also shared that while on a hiking vacation, prior to surgery, he was teased for tripping over rocks and falling - not because he was old and out of shape but because of lack of depth perception. He is excited to get back to hiking as well. Barry wrote to his donor family and received a letter back. The family thanked him for reaching out and was glad to hear their loved one was able to help Barry see and have wonderful experiences in his life. “That made me feel good. I am very grateful and understand the impact the donor has on my life.”
“My wife and I have both been registered donors for as long as I can remember. It’s also in our wills. But of course it means more now that I have directly been affected by it.”
The Circle of Light Photo Project is a collection of photographs taken by people whose blindness was treated by cornea transplants. Join us for the best art show and party in Denver on August 24 at the RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Your ticket includes the art exhibit, a cornea clindness experience, food, beer & wine, music by DJ Ginger Perry, and a silent auction of the photos and hundreds of other items. All proceeds go to help the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank continue its sight saving mission. Get your tickets now!