by Samuel Allen
August 12, 2019
Tony Cruz is an award winning Bronx-based graffiti artist and activist who suffers from macular telangiectasia type 2, a degenerative disease that causes loss of eyesight and eventual blindness. He has started Do Not Kill Your Vision, Protect Your Eyes, a campaign to bring awareness to different vision disorders and practices that can reduce one’s likelihood of developing one.
Cruz gave an interview to WFUV about his story and concerns, and also spoke in front of the UN during their 1 Million for 1 Billion global impact summit to warn about the harm of blue light. He has recently partnered with the Museum of Modern Art, too.
His impact has had effect. Metro Optics the Bronx’ foremost provider of vision care, hopes to eventually collaborate with Cruz. Community Relations manager Sarah Bonizio was moved by his commitment to emphasizing the importance of eye-care.
“It’s inspiring that Tony Cruz is using his platform as a visual artist to illustrate and raise awareness of a vital message,” she said in an email. “It is essential to commit to eye care practices that protect eyes from damage and screen for diseases which can lead to vision loss.”
Bonizio went on to list various forms of preventative vision care like proper contact lens solution, UV ray blocking eyewear, and the consumption of foods that promote eye health. She discussed an overlap of ideas between Metro Optics and Cruz’s efforts, saying “It is our mission to educate and also provide practical, actionable solutions and access to resources.”
Recently Metro Optics demonstrated the importance of protective eyewear for youngsters who play sports.
To work towards providing said solutions, Metro Optics has created an affordable eyewear and eye care package for patients without vision insurance, and hosts numerous free community eye care events.
Bonizio expressed with a desire to work with Cruz, saying “I hope to connect with him to discuss collaboration opportunities.”