Horsham model’s ‘surreal, amazing’ awareness day transforms lives

A Horsham model who held an awareness day for peeple with differences in their bodies says the event changed people’s lives.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 12:37 pm

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.

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 said her awareness day transformed lives.

And she held an awareness day, inviting people with similar ‘body differences’, to help others love themselves too.

She said: “It went absolutely amazing. It went really really well.

“It was all just really just surreal – it’s a strange experience meeting other people with similarities. There were emotional parts as well.”

And Olivia, who wants to give talks in schools to help normalise the difference between bodies, said the event had transformed people’s lives.

She added: “It was all such a whirlwind.

“I can’t believe that we all got together. It’s changed some of their lives. They have gone back and they feel a new person.”

A documentary was filmed at the event which Olivia hopes will be shown to improve awareness still further.

She added: “I want people to see that it’s real and real emotions.”

Olivia gave each person at the event a bracelet which she said they all still wear.

She added: “It was just a sentimental thing to give to them. We’re wearing them every day now.”