By Kathy Walsh


DENVER (CBS4)– There is a photography exhibit at RedLine Contemporary Art Center with a vision. It lets you see the world through the eyes of people who feared they would never see again.

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It is called “The Circle of Light Photo Project” presented by the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank.

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All of the photos were taken by people who had their eyesight restored through cornea transplants.

“I knew I had a good picture when I took it,” said Jan Hepp-Struck.

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She was talking about her photograph of a rose begonia. It is perfectly pink and so starkly beautiful you can’t help but stare.

“I love to do macro pictures of flowers,” explained Jan.

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She is a realtor of 40+ years. Jan took up photography in 1971, snapping special moments with her first baby. That grew to a closet packed with 209 albums of precious memories.

But in 2011, Jan’s future was suddenly out of focus.

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“I wasn’t seeing well, I think, out of my right eye,” she told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

Jan had Fuch’s Dystrophy, a disease of the cornea, bound to get worse.

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“Over a period of years I would notice it was clouding more and I wasn’t seeing as well,” Jan said. “I was terrified.”

In 2017, she had transplants with donated corneas, the legacy of sight from a stranger.

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“Thank you, makes me emotional,” Jan said choking back tears.

Jan now sees life through someone else’s eyes. She feels blessed to be able to capture the beauty of nature. Four of her photographs were chosen for the Circle of Light Photo Project.

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Jan will donate her eyes when she dies.

She said, “I encourage everyone to do that, that some little piece of us can live on in someone else.”

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Additional Information From the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank:

All of the photos will be up for auction to support the mission of the Eye Bank. There is an event at the RedLine Contemporary Art Center gallery on Aug. 24.

Tickets can be purchased at www.corneas.org. Tickets include access to the silent auction (about 100 additional silent auction items in addition to the photos), passed food, beer and wine. $40 general admission at 7:00 p.m., $50 at the door, $60 VIP early admission at 6:00 p.m. It goes until 10. Several of the photographers will be at the event.

Kathy Walsh

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