Proclamation 5170 -- National Eye Donor Month, 1984

March 31, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

One of the most magnificent presents that one human being can bestow upon another is the gift of sight. Human eye tissue which is donated at death may be used in research and cornea transplant operations. Each year, thousands of Americans suffer from impaired vision caused by congenital defects, injuries, and diseases. Cornea transplant surgery can improve or restore the sight of many of these people. Unfortunately, all too many people are unable to retain their sight because there is not enough corneal tissue available.

Through the efforts of 93 eyebanks across the Nation, these problems are being alleviated. The eyebanks help coordinate the nationwide distribution of donated eye tissue for use in medical education, continuing research efforts, and cornea transplants. Developing from a single institution in 1944, the eyebanks have greatly encouraged research into the prevention and treatment of eye disease and helped increase national awareness of the urgent need for more eye donations, so that others may receive the gift of sight.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 225, has designated March 1984 as ``National Eye Donor Month'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that occasion.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1984 as National Eye Donor Month. I urge all citizens, health care professionals, educators, and other public and private organizations concerned with vision and vision research to join with the Nation's eyebanks in recognizing this humanitarian cause with appropriate activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:31 a.m., April 2, 1984]