Stories of Hope

Daniel, cornea recipient

Daniel has always been very active, starting back in high school on the basketball team. It was during his freshman year when he was diagnosed with a corneal disease called Keratoconous. However, he was able to function with regular soft contact lenses, and his vision was good enough to excel on the court and in the classroom.

After graduating from high school, and later college, the disease began to take a toll on Daniel’s eyesight. The disease had deformed his right cornea to the point where he was legally blind in his right eye. He became depressed and neglected his health. Then, one day in the middle of a work presentation, his right cornea ruptured, and his eye swelled to the point where the blue color of his iris was no longer visible.

Three months later, he received the life-changing gift of a corneal transplant. “Not a day goes by where I do not thank my donor and her family for that gift.”

After Daniel’s transplant, he began running, swimming and cycling. He lost over 60 pounds. He has competed in two Ironman competitions and three marathons. His partner, who helped him every day during the traumatic experience with soothing eye drops and medication, became his wife. Together they have three beautiful children. “The gift of sight has motivated me to become the best I am capable of becoming in every aspect of life, and for that gift I will be forever grateful.”