MPW.67 / 2015 Saving Face by Melissa Bunni Elian
Photographer
Melissa Bunni Elian Yonkers, N.Y.
Team Eppridge

Story Summary

Self-esteem issues are a signature aspect of the teenage years and can be difficult for anyone. 14-year-old high school freshman Maddie Meyer is no exception, but her problems stem from early childhood medical trauma.

When she was a little over age 1, Maddie underwent chemotherapy—7 months sooner then medically recommended. Two battles with Retinalblastoma claimed her right eye; the latent affects of radiation too early on has led to cartilage deterioration. In a few months Maddie must decide whether or not to undergo reconstructive facial surgery. She risks complete blindness and potential brain damage.