The Gift of Sight: Dover Resident Nancy Nusbaum Advocates for Organ and Tissue Donation Following Her Journey to Restored Vision

DOVER, NJ – During this holiday season of gratitude and giving, Nancy Nusbaum, a longtime resident of Dover, NJ, is counting her blessings and sharing her inspiring journey of restored vision thanks to double corneal transplants she received seven years ago.

Nancy proudly shares her story with others to raise awareness about NJ Sharing Network and the power of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

“Every day, I reflect on the generous spirit of my two cornea donors and the sacredness of their gifts. Their brave and beautiful souls are always with me as I now see wonderful shapes, colors, and how beautiful the sky is,” said Nancy.

Nancy’s journey to transplant is filled with irony. While working with The Seeing Eye for 35 years and teaming with her husband Martin to raise 21 guide dog puppies, Nancy experienced firsthand the impact of vision loss on individuals’ lives. It wasn't until her mid-30s during a routine eye exam that she learned about her own congenital corneal disease, affecting both eyes.

“I never imagined that I was visually seeing things differently than everyone else,” said Nancy. “But I never understood why so many people loved the color blue because it simply appeared to be a dusty, grayish color to me.”

Unfortunately, Nancy’s vision grew progressively worse until she was close to approaching complete vision loss. Thankfully, successful cornea transplants were performed on each or her eyes. Her first transplant was done on her right eye on December 21, 2016, followed by her left eye in August 2017.

As the bandages came off post-surgery, Nancy’s world gradually transformed from what she describes as ‘a gray smoke-filled room’ to ‘a vibrant, colorful landscape.’ Her journey to full vision took about nine months, during which she experienced the marvels of rediscovering the world anew.

“I still remember the day I finally saw the true color of blue for the first time,” said Nancy. “Martin and I were driving when I saw another car on the road. I shouted, ‘Wow! What color is that car? It’s incredible!’ My husband calmly responded, ‘That's blue, Nancy.’ I had never seen how vivid the color blue is until that moment. It was breathtaking.”

Since retiring from The Seeing Eye, Nancy is continuing to live life to its fullest, enjoying gardening, stargazing, music, teaching Yoga, and spending time with her beloved dogs. She also devotes her time advocating for organ and tissue donation, aiming to inspire others to give the gift of life.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are over 100,000 Americans – nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey – waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. According to the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), there are 12 million cornea-blind individuals worldwide. Just one organ and tissue donor can save 8 lives and enhance the lives of over 75 others. To learn more and join the National Donate Life Registry as an organ and tissue donor, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Nancy Nusbaum with her dogs (Photo Credit: Courtesy of NJ Sharing Network)

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