2019 Celebration of Hope & Renewal

Participants at Garden Event
2019 Celebration of Hope & Renewal
General News

Thank you to everyone who attended the Iowa Lions Eye Bank annual Celebration of Hope & Renewal on Thursday, May 23rd, held within the magnificent Iowa Lions Donor Memorial & Healing Garden, located directly across from the main entrance to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). This unique ceremony honors and exemplifies eye, organ and tissue donors and recipients statewide, as well as all those who support the work of donation and transplantation. 

 Guest speakers included Larry Graham, a grateful bilateral cornea recipient from northwest Iowa who received his transplants at UIHC in 2018. We also heard from Lisa Gotzinger, the mother of a 19 year-old young man from Potosi, WI, who died at UIHC in 2016 following a tragic accident and donated his corneas, organs and tissue to countless waiting recipients.


Larry Graham, grateful recipient



Lisa Gotzinger, donor mom 


Both speakers shared their personal journey and provided testimonials to the life-changing outcomes of donation and transplantation.

 In addition, Dr. Mark Greiner, from the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Medical Director for Iowa Lions Eye Bank, shared his unique perspective of donation as a donor family member and a cornea surgeon. 



Dr. Mark Greiner, UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Medical Director, Iowa Lions Eye Bank


A newly installed commemorative paver was also dedicated in loving memory of Natalee June Henke, who became a donor in 2018 at the young age of eighteen.



Family of Natalee June Henke and her newly installed paver


We would like to send a special thank you to Suresh Gunasekaran, associate vice president for University of Iowa Health Care and CEO of UI Hospitals & Clinics for welcoming the crowd, and the Oakdale Community Choir for providing a vocal performance. 



Oakdale Community Choir