Mum Tina Treadwell sent photos of one-year-old Taylor to modelling agencies because 'he was such a cutie'.
But when Tina's sister Geraldine saw the shots, she noticed the unusual 'glow' in his eyes that is a sign of retinoblastoma – an aggressive, deadly eye cancer.
It grows quickly, but if it's detected early - using a simple camera flash - it can save the child's life and possibly prevent the removal of the eye.
Doctors confirmed that Taylor had three small tumours in his left eye and a larger one in his right.
Tina said: "The bigger tumour had torn his retina, leaving him blind in that eye."
Taylor had four months of chemotherapy to shrink the tumours at Great Ormond Street Hospital and he has now been discharged although he is now blind in one eye and he'll need regular checks to ensure the cancer doesn't return.
Two years on, the family was contacted by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust and asked Taylor, now aged three, to model in a campaign showing how to detect the disease using just a smartphone camera.
Tina, 45, from Yateley, Hampshire, said: "It's hard to believe that a photograph saved Taylor's life. I'd spotted it before but assumed it was the camera flash."
And there is hope on the horizon for the family.
Tina added: "Doctors have since said that blood is flowing to Taylor's retina, so hopefully it might reattach one day.
"If it does, Taylor may get a little of his sight back. But whatever happens he'll be a star in my eyes."
HOW TO DETECTED CHILDHOOD EYE CANCER WITH YOUR SMART PHONE
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