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June 18, 2024 5 mins
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(00:00):
I got a really interesting email recentlyabout a photo exhibit called the Circle of
Light photo Project that is described asa collection of photographs taken by people who
used to be blind and whose sightwas restored through cornea transplant surgery. And

(00:22):
I just find that concept so fabulous. And joining us to talk about it
is one of these photographers from righthere in Colorado, Dana Henderson. She's
from Elizabeth And well, Dana,welcome to KOA. It's good to have
you. Hi. Thank you somuch for having me. I'm so glad
to and just tell us a littlebit about your story. You know,

(00:46):
you were you blind from birth?Did you become blind some other way?
And then how are you not blind? Now? Sure? I was not
blind from birth. I actually hadno trouble with my vision. And in
the beginning and in my early twenties, I suddenly couldn't see the big E
on the charts and it was abig change and needed a cornea transplant in

(01:12):
the near future. It was prettysudden for our family. Wow, So
how fast was that transition to seeingmore or less perfectly to basically not seeing
at all? It was? Itwas, It was pretty suddenly. I
had I didn't have glasses growing up, like a year a month. It

(01:34):
was kind of a year about ayear. And did they ever determine the
cause? I have what's called carataponas, which is when your cornea changes shape,
and we tried some other routes andit just it wasn't working. And
I actually have a cornea transplants inboth of my eyes at this point.

(01:55):
Wow, and I think one ofyour eyes, maybe you needed it done
twice or something I did. Yeah, I had it for a very long
sixteen years. It was a longtransplant and just sometimes the body rejects and
different things like that. And soI do have anywhere one. I don't
know when your kid was born,but or if you have more than one,

(02:16):
but I know at least you havea daughter. Must have must have
been at some point wondering am Igoing to get to literally watch my daughter
grow up? Correct? Yeah,for sure it. You know, having
the transplant has just been life changing. I can see crisper the colors,

(02:38):
you know, my cornea just wasgiving out and it was very gray,
and it's just been impactful for ourfamily and folks. If you're interested in
seeing any of the photographs from folkswho at some point in their lives were
blind and are not anymore. TheCircle of Light Photo Project is currently on

(02:59):
dis A at the Rocky Mountain LionsEye Institute. We just have about a
minute and a half year data.But just tell me a little bit about
what photography means to you now thatyou can see again. Oh yes,
the tooleography is just it's a greatoutlet. It's grown our families wanting to

(03:24):
just strengthen, going on adventures andbeing together and just capturing that and those
memories. There's just so much beautifulnature out there and being able to truly
see it and experience it with thosethat you love like it's just a gift.
The Rocky Mountain Lions I think hasjust been wonderful for our family.

(03:47):
My husband is also a recipient.And actually that that reminds me because we
talk about, you know, thesurgery and whatever, but it's it's actually
a cornea transplant, right, Sothe cornea had to come from donor correct?
Yes, yes, yeah, yeah, it's the And that's kind of
what the Circle of Life Photo Projectdoes that it educates the community just about

(04:11):
what this gift of being a donordoes to the recipients and to their life.
Folks, All this stuff is linkedon my blog. If you go
to Rosscominsky dot com today and justscroll down to the guests section, you'll
see the links for the Circle ofLife photo project and for Rocky Mountain Lions
I Institute. And I just thoughtthis was a wonderful story to share some

(04:33):
of the how medicine surgery can makebenefits in people's lives that go beyond just
oh, i'm healthy now, likeI. You know, Dana could literally
watch your daughter grow up and takebeautiful pictures and teach. I'm a teacher,
I can teach my students. Yeah, it's just fantastic. I'm very

(04:56):
happy for you, Dana, andI'm grateful for your time today. Thank
you so much for doing this interview. I really appreciate it. Anytime, anytime,

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