Honoring the Legacy of Ophthalmic Visionary Dr. Bruce Grene

In October, the Wichita community said farewell to a friend and visionary in eye care. Dr. Bruce Grene, the founder of Wichita-based Grene Vision Group, was also instrumental in establishing the Wichita Eye Foundation in 1986. With Dr. Grene’s support, the Eye Foundation would grow to eventually become the Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center, Inc., providing corneal tissue for transplant in Kansas and beyond. In 2021, the Wichita eye bank’s impact on local Kansas communities multiplied as it became a division of Saving Sight.

Dr. Bruce Grene

Dr. Bruce Grene was instrumental in establishing the Kansas Eye Bank.

Dr. Grene’s legacy can be seen in many facets of the practice of ophthalmology. His passion for ocular research and innovation led him to create Celluvisc, a worldwide product for treating surface eye disease and injury. Dr. Grene entrusted the royalties from the sale of Celluvisc to the Wichita Eye Foundation, helping to fund the Kansas Eye Bank’s growth and work in restoring sight.

In his creation of Grene Vision Group, Dr. Grene was ahead of his time in providing the best in patient care. He had the wisdom and foresight to create an integrated group of ophthalmology, optometry, and optical professionals working together to serve the community. Most importantly, Dr. Grene embodied a passion for serving patients.

“Bruce and I worked together for over two decades, and he was perhaps as charismatic and captivating of a person as I’d ever met,” said Dr. Dasa Gangadhar, ophthalmologist and original partner at Grene Vision Group. “The temperature in the room would go up when he walked in. He was loving, he was gentle, and he was a visionary.”

Dr. Grene is survived by his loving family and wife, Mary, who stood by his side during a difficult battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is also survived by countless patients who benefited from his work and many collaborators and coworkers who called him a friend. It’s in the same spirit of service that Saving Sight works to carry forth Dr. Grene’s vision of restoring sight.

To learn more about our history and the key individuals like Dr. Grene, who have worked to make restored vision a reality for others, visit www.saving-sight.org/about.

Eye Donation Month

A New View

Celebrating restored vision and life honored through the gift of eye donation!

Eye Donation Month | November 2023

Each year, Saving Sight joins the eye banking community in observing Eye Donation Month in November. Throughout the month, we concentrate our efforts on raising awareness about cornea donation and transplantation, honoring eye donors’ gifts, celebrating the work of our community partners in facilitating the git, and educating others on how to join the organ and tissue donor registry.

Join us this November in celebrating the new view that the gift of eye donation gives to both recipients and donor families.

Celebrating Champions of Sight!

This November, our team will recognize external partners who exhibit extraordinary dedication in making eye donation possible. Learn more about our Champion of Sight Award program, and how we plan to celebrate the community of individuals who aid in facilitating our sight-saving work.

You Can Help This November!

One of the many ways that you can support Saving Sight’s mission to change lives by saving sight is to help us raise awareness for the need for eye donation and help get others to join the organ and tissue donor registry! Whether it’s making a goal to get a group of friends to register online, or sharing a story on social media about the life-changing gift of eye donation, Saving Sight has got you covered with resources. 

Follow Saving Sight on Facebook at @WeSaveSight for stories to share all month long. And, when you’re on Facebook be sure to check out the Eye Bank Association of America’s profile picture frame commemorating Eye Donation Month. To access the profile picture frame just log into your personal Facebook account, click your profile picture and select “update profile picture” and then “add frame.” If you search for Eye Donation Month, you’ll find a special frame created just for November! Stay tuned to our social media feeds all month long for other extras like stickers and camera effects and how to use them!

Finally, please make sure that you are directing individuals to registerme.org as a call to action for them to sign up on the eye, organ and tissue donor registry! Their selfless decision may someday give others both life-changing and life-saving gifts.

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Living Life With a New View

Jack ‘Hydroplane’ Deloplaine might be best remembered as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a Superbowl champion. But to those who knew him, especially his family, he was much more. His final act of kindness was being a cornea donor.

This is his story, as told by his wife and two sons, brought to you by our partners at the Eye Bank Association of America.

Kathy’s Journey of Restored Sight Through Transplantation

Kathy's journey to restored sight began after her cataract surgery in the fall of 2023. The procedure that she expected would improve her vision did not deliver the results that she was expecting and led to the discovery of underlying vision issues. “After my cataract...
ScottHagerty photo

Transplant Recipient’s Vision Twice Renewed

Scott's journey to restored vision began on a farm in central Kansas when he was 19. After unloading grain from storage bins, Scott noticed that his left eye had swollen shut. Scott eventually found his way to Dr. Bruce Grene in Wichita, Kansas where he was treated...

A Transplant Becomes an Opportunity for Regained Sight

For years, Karie of Kansas City, MO, suffered from reduced vision in her right eye after a bout with shingles while on chemotherapy. She was left with scarring from the shingles on her eye that impacted her vision and resulted in corneal blindness. At first, she was...

Neal’s Restored Vision Provides New Clarity

Neal's life took a transformative turn in April 2022 when he underwent a corneal transplant, bringing newfound hope and clarity to his world. Neal, a resident of Kansas City, suffered from Fuchs Dystrophy, a progressive eye condition that clouded his vision and...

Transplant Recipient Begins 2023 With a New View

“Frankly, I was thinking that there was a good chance that I was going to lose my sight, and it didn’t occur to me to think about a transplant.”

Restored Vision Gives Funeral Home Director New View

As a funeral director, Diantha worked closely with the eye donation process for many years in her family’s funeral home. She often spoke with families whose loved ones had chosen to give the gift of sight, and therefore was very familiar with Saving Sight and its...

Changing Lives Through Sight Restoration in Tanzania

On July 2, 2021, Saving Sight distributed 6 corneal tissues to the  Donor Network of Arizona to be used by one of their surgeons in Tanzania for a mission trip. Dr. LeeSa Jackson joined Dr. Elisante Jackson Muna at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center to perform a...

Becky’s Legacy

  In Memory of Becky H., 1973-2021 "Becky was a strong advocate for those in need, especially children. She loved genealogy, German food, and her family and friends," says Eric. #LegacyGarden #DonorHero  

Changing Lives Through Sight Restoration in Pakistan

In 2018, Saving Sight began working with Dr. Fawad Zafar. Dr. Zafar is a urologist who lives in Iowa and also coordinates the acquisition of corneal tissue for transplant in Pakistan. “In April 2017, one of my class fellows who was a doctor, but left medical...

Melanie’s Legacy As An Eye Donor

"My mom was extremely devoted to her family, especially her mother, two kids and five grandchildren. She had just gotten her first granddaughter after four boys and was so proud. She was extremely giving, to the point she’d go without so others had. She was an AMAZING...

Support the Mission

You can help us our quest to educate others about the life-changing gift of eye donation by purchasing our Eye Donation Month merchandise. Each image features the words of  donor families and transplant recipients about how eye donation has provided hope and healing in their lives.

2022 Impact Report

2022 Impact Report

2022 Impact Report

We worked to save sight for more individuals than ever during our 2021-2022 fiscal year! Check out our Impact Report to learn how we’re helping our community.

Celebrate Safely This Fourth of July!

While fireworks are a beautiful and time-honored tradition associated with the holiday, it’s important that you take precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Here are some quick facts about fireworks, and some tips to keep your vision safe this year while still enjoying the festive fun.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are 9,000 fireworks-related injuries each year in the U.S. Thirty percent of those are eye injuries, and one-fourth of those eye injuries result in blindness. What’s more, children account for the majority of fireworks-injury victims, and for children under 5, sparklers — which burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause third-degree burns — account for one-third of fireworks-related injuries.

For these reasons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages you to follow these recommendations:

  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type.
  • View fireworks from a safe distance: at least 500 feet away, or up to a quarter of a mile for best viewing.
  • Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
  • Follow directives given by event ushers and public safety personnel.
  • Respect safety barriers set up to allow pyrotechnicians to do their jobs safely.
  • If you find unexploded fireworks remains, do not touch them. Immediately contact your local fire or police department.
  • If you get an eye injury from fireworks, seek medical help immediately.

If you do decide to shoot off fireworks yourself, be sure to follow all safety precautions, protect your eyes, and keep children a safe distance away. The staff at Saving Sight wishes you a safe and fun-filled Independence Day weekend!

Looking for More?

Want some additional Independence Day Safety tips? Check out our friends at the American Academy of Ophthalmology!

Champion of Sight – Downing & Lahey Funeral Home

Champion of Sight – Downing & Lahey Funeral Home

Downing and Lahey Funeral Home, located in Wichita, Kansas, has been chosen as Saving Sight’s first Champion of Sight. The Champion of Sight Award recognizes our partners who exhibit extraordinary dedication in advocating and assisting in making eye donation possible. Together, with our Champions, we truly change lives by saving sight! Champions of Sight are nominated by and voted for by our team here at Saving Sight.

Downing and Lahey Funeral Home

Our partners at Downing and Lahey Funeral Home work to help support the donation wishes of decedents and their families.

“We chose Downing and Lahey for their open communication. When I called to introduce myself, they let me know some areas of opportunity and how we could make them better. I followed up as promised by emailing their funeral home directors our commitment,” says Hospital Development Manager Kelly Falwell. We are lucky to have such great partners at Saving Sight that play a part in facilitating the eye donation process and advocating for donation, donor families and recipients in our service area. Downing and Lahey has been a great partner to Saving Sight by allowing our recovery technicians to perform recoveries in the funeral home from time to time.

Michael Morris, Funeral Director with Downing and Lahey says, “We understand the importance of donation and giving somebody the opportunity to see from somebody that’s passed away. That’s a great thing to be able to share with someone.” By working in tandem with funeral homes, we are able to honor the donor and their families’ wishes in being a donor.

Honoring the Legacy of Wichita Eye Donors

In June 2021, Saving Sight and the Kansas Eye Bank joined together in a partnership to serve the entire state of Kansas. Our new Wichita facility has rich history of serving its community by facilitating the gift of sight. We’re happy to share the following images from the donor quilts that were made over the years, celebrating the legacy that Wichita-area eye donors left in their selfless gifts.