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Meet Anne Ngo Moug

Anne Ngo Moug is a mother of two from Cameroon, Africa. After giving birth to her second child, Anne was alarmed to notice that she was quickly losing vision in one eye. She needed a new cornea and fast. Fortunately, Anne was referred to Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research to try to help restore her sight.

Support The Cause

We hear inspirational stories like Anne’s every day. However, the need is still great, and more people need our help.

Through our Gratis Ocular Tissue Program, we were able to secure a donated cornea at no cost to Anne or her family. Lions Eye Institute employees worked tirelessly with ophthalmologists to find a surgeon within our network who was able to donate their services and transplant the new cornea. Now, Anne says her sight and her hope have been restored for a lifetime. Through the services provided by the Lions Eye Institute Foundation, Anne was given a future where she could see her children grow.

The Lions Eye Institute Foundation is the charitable arm of the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research. Our goal is to support the Institute’s mission to set new standards for ocular endeavors that will improve visual outcomes and quality of life for those who are blind or visually impaired. Essentially, we restore sight worldwide and we do this in many ways.

The work of the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research is made possible through the generosity of our supporters. When you make a gift to the Lions Eye Institute Foundation, you support cutting edge ocular research, sight restoration, surgeon training, vision screenings, and so much more.

Here are just some of the things that your gift can support:

Gratis Ocular Tissue Program

This program allows us to provide free or reduced fee corneal tissue to people who suffer from corneal blindness but cannot afford sight-saving surgery because they are under-/un-insured. In the 2019-2020 year, our Gratis Ocular Tissue Program restored sight to 198 people just like Anne, in Florida, the United States, Albania, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. This program reaches across the globe to cure corneal blindness.

Advancing Research for Treatments and Cures for Blinding Eye Diseases

We advance research to provide treatments and an eventual cure for age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, among other blinding eye diseases. Our Ocular Research Center was built in 2009 and since then, our Director of Scientific Research and research coordinators have worked tirelessly to empower researchers to conduct real-time studies of healthy and diseased ocular tissue. We collaborate with leading institutions to develop new pre-clinical research models, offering unparalleled quality and unique research facilities and research tissues for pharmaceutical or medical-device studies.

Transplant Laboratory

Our Transplant Laboratory is responsible for evaluating and preparing tissue for transplant. The transplant lab is constantly adapting to the ever-changing needs of surgeons who perform sight-saving corneal transplants. Their needs include equipment and supplies to support their ongoing efforts to restore sight.

Vision Health Program

Vision disorders in children affect cognitive, social, and physical development; future health; and well-being. Conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eye) can go undetected and, if not addressed by the time a child is eight years old when eyesight is fully developed, can lead to lifelong problems and result in an irreversible loss of sight. To solve this problem, we have launched a Vision Health Program to provide vision screenings for children in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties so they can get access to the care they need and deserve.

Surgeon Training Program

A significant part of our mission involves training ophthalmologists on the newest, safest techniques of cornea transplantation. Through the generosity of two foundations and a corporate partner, we now have the equipment and instrumentation for our team to bring in surgeons from all over the world and elevate our organization as leaders in ophthalmic education, specifically advanced cornea transplantation.

Lions Eye Institute Foundation Endowment

In order to continue to support the Lions Eye Institute and its mission to restore sight, the Foundation plans to establish an endowment. This fund will enable us to have a consistent revenue stream even during times when fundraising is a challenge. It will allow us to provide program continuity and stability.

The F. Lozano Cigar Factory

Lions Eye Institute Headquarters

Another priority is maintaining our 112-year-old building, previously known as the F. Lozano Cigar Factory, the building in which we fulfill the mission of the organization. This building not only houses our transplant lab in which we process and distribute all the corneal tissue that is recovered, but it is also incredibly important as part of our identity as a member of the Ybor City and Tampa Bay Community. As such, it is our responsibility and privilege to maintain this beautiful, historical structure. Some projects that we have in the works include replacing the roof and building up the retaining wall to prevent erosion and flood damage.

It costs so little to provide priceless sight and a better quality of life for so many in your community and around the world.

Your contributions underwrite transplants for those in financial need; fund research programs, giving us a better understanding of the human eye and eye disease; and get us one step closer to unlocking the cure for blindness. Your contributions help educate the public about the importance of ocular donation, and enrich the lives of those who are visually impaired.

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