Doing Good: Local resident participates in Transplant Games

Back in 2000, Buckhead resident Mari Fridenmaker’s Labrador retriever scratched her in the eye, and she got an infection which led to her having to take disability from work for six months and eventually have a corneal transplant.

Her experience led her to the Georgia Eye Bank, a nonprofit which recovers, processes and provides donor eye tissue for eye surgeries and research studies and promotes and provides education about corneal and eye donation to fight against blindness and visual impairment.

Now doing well, she got heavily involved in triathlons, and, “I decided to fundraise for the Georgia Eye Bank while I trained for the race. It was a way to stay motivated and give back to the organization who helped me have the tissue for my surgery,” said Fridenmaker.

She recently completed the 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games of America, held in Cleveland, Ohio this month.

Every year, Georgia Eye Bank directly helps approximately 1,500 people maintain or restore their sight. The organization also provides solace to grieving donor families by providing an opportunity for something positive to come from the loss of a loved one. Georgia Eye Bank also educates the public and healthcare professionals throughout Georgia.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Atlanta City Hall scandal: Who's next as federal probe steams up?
  2. 2 Report: Issues leading to Grayson walkout resolved
  3. 3 Escaped inmate caught in LaGrange; another still at large

Fridenmaker participates in GEB’s Vision in Progress, and the organization is always looking for volunteers.

“We always welcome individuals to assist with information tables at health fairs, speaking opportunities in the community, assisting with office duties and more,” said Janice Newsome Sedgwick, manager of Public & Professional Relations at the Georgia Eye Bank.

In other news: On the heels of its $100,000 donation to the USO last year, Atlanta-based Belgard raised and donated another $50,000 to the USO during its National Military Appreciation Month campaign in May.

During the month of May, Belgard donated $1 for every Idea Book order, social share, email share and social like with the ultimate goal of raising $50,000. These funds raised by Belgard support USO programs that provide an array of services, from providing resume help for service members transitioning out of the military to providing dinner to local military families.

Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at

More from AJC