Girl With Half a Face Fights Back


When Sarah's parents brought their newborn daughter home from the hospital, they were overcome with joy. But at 8 months, Sarah's face began to change. A large tumor grew along the right side of her face, pulling her mouth downward and partially closing her right eye.

Sarah, now 17, has neurofibromatosis or NF, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system, causing tumors to form on nerve fibers. Along with the physical disfigurement, Sarah's disorder can cause severe headaches and blurred vision.There is no known cure for NF.

The teen has undergone three surgeries to her face and three on her eye, but her face is still swollen. She recently had yet another surgery, in which doctors attempted to remove the bulk of the tumor.

Besides the multiple surgeries, Sarah also has had to endure constant bullying by both her peers — who called her "fat face," "ugly" and "monster" — and even strangers, who warned others to stay away from the young woman. "There are some kids who call me names. They threaten to kill me," Sarah explains.

But Sarah fought back by posting a video online that explained how she intended to remain strong despite the bullying. On one in a series of cards held up to the camera, she wrote: "I wish people could understand, there is nothing wrong with me."

Another just shows a drawing of a heart.


Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains what causes Sarah's condition. 

Sarah and her doctors discuss her surgery. And, what's next for the teen? 

Sarah gets a surprise visit from her favorite country music star, Mark Wills. 

To learn more about Sarah, check out the documentary, The Girl With Half a Face, Jan. 29 on TLC.

Related:
Lai's Tumor
Removing a 51-Pound Tumor
How a Massive Tumor Affects the Body 














For more information about the products mentioned on this show, please go to Related Resources
Sign Up for the Newsletter| Show Page | Talk about the Show | Join The Doctors Social Network
Allergies | Anti-Aging | Cosmetic Surgery | Fitness & Weight Loss

Parenting | Pregnancy | Recipes | Safety | Sex
OAD 1/13/14

THE DOCTORS MOST RECENT Disease VIDEOS


Procamsd6504_the_doctors_get_vaccinated_vl_browse

The Doctors Get Vaccinated

Procamsd6504_adult_vaccinations_vl_browse

Are Adults Skipping Life-Saving
Vaccines?

Montel_home_visit_vl_browse

Montel Williams Helps Woman Living with
Dystonia

Deep_brain_stimulation_vl_browse

Deep-Brain Stimulation

Tylers_life_after_surgery_vl_browse

Deep-Brain Stimulation for Tourette's
Syndrome

THE DOCTORS MOST POPULAR Illness VIDEOS


Shingles_facebook_question_vl_browse

Shingles

Asthma_dos_donts_vl_browse

Treating Asthma

Procamsd6126_leg_pain_vl_browse

Trick for Treating a Charley Horse

Can_children_outgrow_asthma_pt2_vl_browse

Can Children Outgrow Asthma? (Part 2)

Procamsd6153_lactose_intolerance_vl_browse

Dairy Products for the Lactose
Intolerant