The gift of sight has given Cameron Whittle the freedom and independence to get his driver’s license, start college and even win a gold medal in a national athletic competition. Cam’s story reveals the transformative power of a cornea transplant.
Cam began experiencing visual difficulties including photosensitivity, eye irritation and swelling when he was just three years old. At 13, he was diagnosed with keratoconus, a disease that affects the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped tissue covering the front of the eye.
Initially, he was prescribed glasses followed by special contact lenses. In 2014, Cameron had corneal transplant surgery and regained vision in his left eye.
Cameron’s cornea transplant allowed him to win first place in the 1,500-meter race in the 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games of America as part of Gift of Life’s Team Philadelphia and to continue his education at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Del.
“Being a cornea and organ donor is so important. My donor now lives on through me,” Cameron said
Cameron expressed the gratitude of himself and his family in this letter:
Dear Donor Family,
The past two years have been such a wonderful and grateful experience. Your loved one gave me sight again and that’s one of the greatest things on earth. I have my license and can drive now. It is my senior year in high school. Without the help of your loved one, I wouldn’t be able to have a license, car, complete high school and now be going to college.
Thank you to our friends at the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley for helping us share Cameron’s story and photo.