What began as Art For Eyes was my personal journey. In the height of the Covid pandemic, September 2020, just 6 months after my daughter Lyla’s dad, Ryan, passed away unexpectedly, she was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma. As a result she lost her right eye to cancer. She was only 18 months old.
One of the ways to detect Retinoblastoma is a yellow glow from a photo using flash photography. I remember seeing a poster when I was pregnant in Florida of a child with two different colored eyes. My doctor at the time reassured me that it’s super rare. It’ll never happen to you.
That’s just one of the reasons why we believe art can and will save an eye or a life.
There is an incredible lack of education about this deadly disease that affects about 400 children each year. Many children diagnosed with retinoblastoma will lose one or both eyes to cancer. Living with a lifelong vision impairment and a life with prosthetic eye(s). Prosthetic eyes are not always covered by insurance. So we’ve combined the medical, the science, and the arts all together to fight this disease.
Prosthetic eyes cost anywhere between $2700-$8000. Again, this custom, freehand, paint job for prosthetic eyes is not always covered by insurance. The eyes are very realistic and about the size of a quarter. A child will go through about 5-8 eyes by the time they are an adult. My daughter Lyla was also diagnosed with autism last year. She is nonverbal. Many children face disabilities beyond just their vision after retinoblastoma. We should allow all children to be seen and supported. A financial burden of cancer on top of living with a vision impairment shouldn’t be a problem for families to worry about in their child’s recovery.
Art For Eyes provides financial aid for kids’ prosthetic eyes and raises awareness about Retinoblastoma through inclusive art programs and creative events. We’re making it impossible to turn a blind eye to Retinoblastoma with the help of good people, good artists, all for this good cause. From our gallery fundraisers, kids art workshops, and murals…we want everyone to be aware that our art can and will save an eye or a life.
Lyla will be 3 years cancer free this October thanks to her team at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Jimmy Fund Clinic. If you want to learn more about Art For Eyes and what we have been up to here is our Boston Channel 5 segment , the podcast , and a feature in Boston Children’s Hospital newsletter. From these events, we have been able to help provide financial aid to the prosthetic eye fund and help kids like our most recent recipient Owen, travel and get a prosthetic eye he desperately needed. Getting more eyes on retinoblastoma means more funding for prosthetic eyes to the kids who need them most.
Our next gallery fundraiser is in Denver, CO at Improper City during the international Denver Walls Mural Festival for our curated show “Mile H-EYE City Art Exhibition” beginning on October 1st. Attached are our flyers for this event. All art proceeds help fund retinoblastoma awareness and financial aid for kids who need prosthetic eyes.
Follow us for more updates on our social media page: @artforeyescorp. I attached a bunch of pictures and flyers for our events and educational workshops.
Thank you once again for helping us get eyes on retinoblastoma and to the kids who need prosthetics from this deadly disease. We hope to see you out there soon.