Todd Deloplaine is the son of Jack ‘Hydroplane’ Deloplaine, a former Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steeler and cornea donor whose story is the centerpiece of Eye Donation Month 2023. In his own words below, Todd describes his father’s legacy and the ‘New View’ he has following his dad’s corneal donation.
The Gift of Sight
Growing up the son of a professional athlete, my Dad, Jack ‘Hydroplane’ Deloplaine taught me to not just work to benefit yourself, but the best gift and the greatest pleasure in life is helping others. Growing up in the hard-working, blue-collar city of Pittsburgh, I learned that the harder you work, the more respect you gain—not only your peers, but your bosses, and the organization you work for.
I moved to South Carolina in 2008 in pursuit of my own path. I am successful, but like my father, I am not content with my accomplishments, and do not get all my fulfillment from my professional life alone. I find my greatest pleasure in life coaching high school baseball in rural South Carolina as a second job (Go Crescent Tigers!) I thoroughly enjoy passing on the knowledge and mindset my Dad instilled in me, my brother, and the many kids in the neighborhood where we grew up. I was so fortunate to be raised by a man who had a higher perspective—not a church going man, but still a man of God. His beliefs, instilled in us as young men, have brought my family and many others to heights that many without his kind of guidance could not achieve. I miss my dad every day. He was a great man, and I strive to be like my hero.
After my father’s cornea donation, I have a new view on things that I used to take for granted. The world can only be seen by the gift of sight, but nothing can compare to the adversity of life. When you have the gift of sight, the world gives you the ability to see. The adversity of life brings you can feel bad, but is just part of the pursuit of the dreams you have for your life. When faced with adversity, you have options: You can feel bad for yourself and be down on your mistakes, or you can pick yourself up from the trenches and use it as motivation in pursuit of your goals. As my father taught me, I encourage you to take a road less traveled, look at a person and speak with them from their eyes, and never doubt yourself. Take what you see! LIFE IS A TEAM SPORT!
Be a donor hero and give the gift of sight be registering as a donor today:
For more information on Eye Donation Month, and the gift of sight, go to EyeDonationMonth.org