|Robert Lee hopes to auction ad space on his prosthetic eye on eBay for $5,000 to raise money for his medical bills. (Handout Photo)
A British Columbia cancer patient is eyeballing new ways to raise money for his medical bills.
Robert Lee lost his left eye last month because of a cancerous tumour. The 47-year-old now hopes to auction ad space on his prosthetic eye on eBay for $5,000.
The winning bidder can submit a logo, no more than 12 mm oval, that will be put on the prosthetic eye in place of a pupil, Lee said from his Kamloops, B.C., home Thursday.
He hadn't received any bids as of Thursday afternoon.
"This is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some advertising," he said.
The Chrysler dealership web designer said his eye trouble started with sudden blurriness while reading a book at a conference in 2002.
He got glasses.
Nine years later, on Aug. 10, Lee had his eye removed.
The province paid for the eye-removal surgery, but not the $2,500 plastic eye.
Lee said he got the idea for the logo eye from his doctor, who told him another client had a Harley Davidson logo on his prosthetic eye.
The auction cash will be used to pay medical bills and donate to ocular melanoma research, he said.
No vulgar, obscene or pornographic offers will be accepted, the auction terms said, and the logo eye will be worn for a minimum of 30 days straight.
Beyond raising cash for medical bills and charity, Lee -- who is now cancer-free -- said he wants to encourage people to get their eyes checked regularly because there isn't always symptoms.
"Without the doctor seeing the freckle, I would have never known I had cancer," he said.
Adjusting to one eye has been difficult. Lee has hit his head a few times and wears his sunglasses to cover the socket. But he still drives.
Lee said he was at the grocery store the other day when a little girl smiled at him, and turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, mommy, that man has one eye."
"I try not to scare people, but at the same time people walk around with all kinds of disabilities. I'd rather have someone look at me and I can say to them, 'This is what happened to me, go get your eyes checked.'"