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Eye Donor
Age 51 ~ Albuquerque, NM
Donated on 5/4/09
at New Mexico Medical Investigators' Office

Honored by New Mexico Lions Eye Bank / TBI

The youngest of six siblings, John Nuñez was everyone's favorite and had many lifetime friends. John worked well with his hands in roofing, woodworking and gardening. After the death of his first wife, he decided to be a donor in the hopes of helping others. He was married twice and was a good and caring father to his six children. After battling esophageal cancer for more than a year, John died in May 2009 at the age of 51. He went on to donate his corneas, providing two people with the gift of sight.

John's Story

The youngest of six siblings, John Nuñez was teased about being spoiled because he was everyone's favorite. He had a friendly and easy manner about him that made it easy for him to make lots of lifetime friends while growing up.

John learned to work with his hands from an early age and roofed houses with his father. He went on to complete courses in woodworking and loved to dabble and tinker. He was always up for a challenge and enjoyed getting down and dirty, especially when it came to fixing things or working in his garden. He had a green thumb and a good sense of design.

John's first wife, Debbie, died at a very young age from breast cancer. After this, he did not have any difficulty discussing death and always said that when he died, he hoped he could help someone through donation. John went on to remarry, and although the marriage did not last, he still maintained a good relationship with his ex-wife and was a good and caring father to his six children.

In early 2008, John was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. As he pursued an aggressive regime of radiation and chemotherapy, he moved in with his brother Steven Nuñez, who works with Tissue Banks International and serves as a bridge between tissue donors and recipients. John's health worsened, and the stress of treatment affected his already-damaged heart. In May 2009, John passed away at home. He was 51.

"Even though I have worked around donation all my life, I was not ready to start thinking rationally about the possibility of donation until things calmed down," Steve admitted. Ultimately, Steven and his family were able to honor John's wish to help someone through donation. John's corneas helped two people regain the gift of sight.