A young mom who lost an eye to cancer is now making bejeweled eye patches to boost her confidence.
Toni Crews, 27, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in her tear gland last June after experiencing blurred vision and severe headaches.
She said her eye constantly looked like she’d been crying so she finally went the doctor.
"They showed me the MRI and it showed there was a mass behind my eye and the eye was pushed forward slightly,” Crews told SWNS.
Crews, who lives in the U.K, was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London after the scan in May 2016. The mother of two underwent a biopsy and it came back as cancer. She was offered radiotherapy, but doctors said the best treatment for her would be to remove the eye.
“I chose to have my eye removed for the best chance of survival,” Crews said.
Three weeks later, she underwent the operation. But after months of wearing dressings and waiting for a prosthetic eye to be made, Crews decided she wanted to add her own flare and create an eye patch for herself.
So she bought a black eye patch from a pharmacy and decide to customize it.
“We found it quite difficult to find attractive eye patches to wear so I decided to customize my own medical eye patches to help boost my confidence,” Crews said.
But she didn’t think of starting a business until a doctor suggested it. She now makes the eye patches for others and sells them on Etsy under the name “Bling-k of an eye.”
Crews hopes that through her business others can gain confidence after surgery. She uses the medical-grade patches and decorates them with rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, fabric and fabric paints.
“I also make custom eye patches to order. So if you’ve got an idea of something different that’s not on my website then let me know and send me a message,” Crews added.
She makes around one a day, spending up to eight hours on each, and her designs include Superman, and Darth Vader – a request from her son.
"It’s a good distraction for me, and something to do when the children go to bed,” Crews said. “My dream is to make a successful business from it, helping people to regain some confidence after surgery, injury or cancer. I’d love to be able to give a percentage of my profits to different cancer charities.”