Man's inspiring story led to award-winning toilet paper wedding dress

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia -- This was going to be a story about a man designing a toilet paper dress and his fascinating work. However, it is so much more.

For the past 14 years, there has been a toilet paper wedding gown contest in Virginia, and Roy Cruz has been a part of the last five.

Cruz's creation this year earned him a top 10 spot, and his inspiration for it has come from some unfortunate life-change events that he had to come to terms with -- and find peace.

Last year, Cruz started making plans for his gown after he was laid off as a florist and while his mother was dying in the hospital.

All the emotions he was feeling were overwhelming and had to stop.

"The feeling, the emotions, the heartache. You can feel it," Cruz told WTKR-TV.

Once he was able to gather the strength to resume designing the gown, his nephew died in a car crash.

Cruz says he is at peace knowing his mother is in Heaven.

"I know she's happy wherever she is now. She's looking down on me," said Cruz.

The dress that got earned him a top 10 finish is adorned with rolled up, twisted and glued toilet paper flowers.

A model will wear it down the runway and his mother and nephew will surely be looking down and watching as well.