Horsham model with prosthetic eye after recovering from rare cancer wants to help others learn to love themselves

A Horsham model who uses a prosthetic eye is holding an awareness day to promote self love for differences in our bodies.

Olivia Deane, 24, was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer – retinoblastoma – when she was just 12 years old.

After two and a half years of gruelling chemotherapy Olivia went into remission but medics had to remove her eye, fitting her instead with a prosthetic.

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Olivia, who also works for a cleaning company and runs her own business, said after several years she learned to love herself both with and without her prosthetic eye.

Olivia Deane pictured left, without her prosthetic eye and right, with her prosthetic

She added: “Nearly two years ago now I encouraged myself to love my appearance and to love my prosthetic eye but always to love who I am without my prosthetic eye as I feel this is the real me.”

After plucking up the courage to post a picture of herself without her prosthetic on Instagram, Olivia was flooded with messages from other people who also had one, supporting her message of self love.

She also posted a video talking about her experiences which has been viewed more than 100,000 times, gaining thousands of likes.

And now Olivia is setting up an awareness day on Saturday, August 14 to encourage more people to love themselves.

Thirteen other people with prosthetic eyes will be attending the event at the Copper Crib in Storrington and a photographer will capture the day.

Olivia plans to film a mini documentary to spread awareness of body positivity too.

She said: “Each of the 13 people will be sharing their story on how they are living with prosthetic eyes and also how they got it.

“I feel so strongly about doing this documentary to get the awareness out and hopefully get it shown in as many schools as possible to help prevent bullying and help to normalise body differences.”

Olivia has been in contact with Katie Piper – a model and activist who was blinded in one eye after she had acid thrown over her – and even appeared on her podcast to promote body positivity.

Olivia added: “She’s my biggest inspiration.

“It really encouraged me to be myself. To show all my friends and family – that’s the real me.”

To follow Olivia on Instagram see @livi.deane