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British mum to become first woman to be dissected on TV

Dominic Smithers

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| Last updated 

British mum to become first woman to be dissected on TV

A mum who died of cancer two years ago is to be the first woman to be dissected on television.

Toni Crews, from Kent, sadly died in 2020 after she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which led to her right eye being removed.

And now, in a television first, the 30-year-old has waived her right to anonymity and will be dissected on Channel 4.

It's hoped that the show will be able to 'educate millions' of her rare condition, and help keep Toni's memory alive.

In the programme, titled My Dead Body, Toni narrates her story and her journey of trying to deal with cancer, thanks to the use of voice-replicating ­technology.

Toni Crews died from a rare form of cancer in 2020. Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_
Toni Crews died from a rare form of cancer in 2020. Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_

It also includes diary entries and letters Toni sent to her friends and family.

Explaining her reason behind taking part in the programme, the mum-of-two says: "This gives me peace for the future."

Toni was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2016, and had to have her eye removed before it returned in 2018, and she sadly died two years later.

My Dead Body will see Professor Claire Smith, the head of anatomy at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, lead a series of workshops for a group of students.

In each of the tutorials, Prof Smith will examine a different part of Toni's body, with the aim of educating students and viewers about cancer and how it affects the human body.

Ahead of the show, Prof Smith said she was 'nervous' because she had never done anything like this before.

"We have been so privileged to explore the journey of cancer through the incredible donation made by Toni," she said.

"As part of this ­documentary, we were able to invite more than 1,000 students, including nurses, paramedics and ­neuroscientists, who wouldn’t normally get to learn about this one in a million cancer.

"Toni’s gift of body donation doesn’t end with this documentary either. Her body will be used to educate our medical students and doctors for years to come."

The 30-year-old's body will be dissected on television. Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_
The 30-year-old's body will be dissected on television. Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_

Prof Smith said she hopes Toni's parents, Jo and Jason, are 'proud' of the programme.

Channel 4 commissioning editor Anna Miralis praised Toni for her bravery, saying: "By donating her body to public display, the first of its kind in the UK, Toni Crews has given us an extraordinary and unique look into the journey of the disease."

"While the ­presence of her voice in the form of diary entries and letters and social media posts ensures the film is filled with all the warmth and ­generosity that characterised Toni’s inspiring life."

My Dead Body comes two decades after Professor Gunther Von Hagens carried out a controversial post mortem on a 72-year-old German man on Channel 4 back in 2002

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week

Featured Image Credit: @blingkofaneye_/Instagram/Indiapicture/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Health, Cancer, UK News, TV and Film

Dominic Smithers
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