High school isn’t easy for most kids, but Sarah Atwell has had it considerably tougher than your average teen. She suffers from a rare disease called neurofibromatosis, which has caused a massive tumor to overtake half of her face. In the one-hour special “The Girl with Half A Face,” (premieres Wed. Dec. 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET on Discovery Fit & Health with an encore Wed. Jan. 22 at 10:00 p.m. ET), Sarah invited cameras to follow her (get an idea of what they found in the clip).
Watch: ‘The Girl with Half A Face’ faces bullies, surgery
A hereditary disease, neurofibromatosis causes tumors to grow along nerve shafts. Though Sarah’s parents looked for medical help for Sarah while she was a child, no doctor was willing to perform such an intricate surgery on such a young girl – leaving Sarah and her family out of options.
Without an answer, Sarah has lived with her disfiguring tumor for her entire life and has been a victim of bullying from a young age. But unwilling to allow tormenters to dictate her life, Sarah finally took a stand and fought back against the bullies by posting a video online and sharing her story. After receiving an incredible amount of support in response to her video, Sarah has at last found a doctor willing to operate. Sarah and her family are hopeful that this procedure will be a long-awaited step to removing her tumor in its entirety. This special chronicles Sarah”s story as she undergoes the extremely dangerous surgery that could change her face and her life once and for all.
If that’s not enough, get this. In conjunction with the premiere, Discovery Fit & Health is partnering with DoSomething.org, the largest organization in the U.S. for young people and social change. In an effort to get the word out about anti-bullying, DoSomething.org and The Wireless Foundation have created a campaign called Bully Text, a virtual text-based educational game where users choose how to respond to bullies, whether the victim or a bystander, in typical situations at an imaginary high school. You can visit DiscoveryFitandHealth.com to learn more.
Will you be watching “The Girl with Half A Face” on Wed. Dec. 18? Or at least setting your DVRs?