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An L.A. Man Who Lost His Eye To Cancer Is Now Raising Funds For Others

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A Los Angeles man who lost his eye to cancer is now raising money to help others.

Aaron Atkins, 30, lost his left eye to Stage III Melanoma, CBS LA reports. What began as a mole over his eyebrow three years ago turned into something much worse, despite numerous surgeries to prevent the cancer from spreading. Finally, doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center delivered some unpleasant news to Atkins. They told him that to remove the tumor, they'd need to remove his left eye, eyelids and eye muscles.

Living in L.A. didn't help Atkins feel better when he learned he'd soon be losing a significant portion of his face.

"Los Angeles is arguably the most physically censored, dare I say, vain society where everything is based on looks," he told CBS LA.

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Atkins went to Simms/Mann-UCLA Center, an organization that offers free counseling to cancer patients. The treatment Atkins received there helped him cope with the huge change in his life—and appearance.

Atkins attempted to raise money to cover some of his medical expenses by selling T-Shirts printed with the phrase, "Live Like A Warrior," a mantra Atkins has adopted. He was hoping to raise $3,000, but the fundraiser has been so successful, he's decided to give half to the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center. So far, he's raised $22,060. And there's still time: you have four hours left to buy a T-shirt for yourself here. You can also donate directly to the center here.

Atkins still has to receive treatment as the cancer isn't entirely gone, but said he should be able to go back to work next week.