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5-year-old turns unwanted eye patch into art

9:50 AM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA - A 5-year-old Brookhaven girl has become the Martha Stewart of eye patches, offering hope to others who are visually impaired.

Since the age of 3, Addie Alford has had to wear an eye patch up to 8 hours a day. It has occasionally brought her unwanted attention, and self-consciousness.

"It's tricky because there are strangers or other people who will walk up and say, 'what's wrong with her eye?'" said Addie's mother.

In an effort to bring fun to a challenging situation, Addie now decorates her eye patch, bringing a little bling to erase the burden.

"Some kids are really scared to wear it outside," said Addie. "When you do these custom patches it's more fun."

Fun usually isn't the word associated with amblyopia. That's the disorder that forces Addie to wear the patch over her left eye. Her right eye was once dark, with no vision at all. The patch over her good eye is helping strengthen that weak eye.

For other children with similar issues, Addie has turned to Youtube, where she provides instructional videos on how to turn your eye patch into a party. It's her hope that others will join the fun and leave behind the fear associated with the patch.

Others are noticing, like the mom and son the family met over spring break.

"She said, 'look at this little girl and how brave she is to wear her patch outside,'" said Sloane Alford. "She looked at me and said, 'my son won't wear his patch outside.'"

Addie Alford is ready with an answer anytime someone asks about her patch.

"God made me really special," said Addie.

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