MPW.69 / 2017 Embracing Vulnerability by Trevor Frost
Photographer
Story Summary

For the past eighteen months, life has been harder than usual for 16-year-old Ty Bustamante, a junior at Eldon High School and a lineman on the Eldon High School football team. In addition to facing severe anxiety, Ty has experienced seizures and panic attacks that have forced him to make some life changes. He is no longer playing football and now attends the Mustang Academy, an alternative education program in the Eldon School system. The academy helps students to receive their high school diplomas when the normal 8-hour school day just does not work for them. Despite the setbacks, Ty is persevering in large part because he lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone. He has his caring friends, his football team, and his extremely supportive family. Just a week ago, Ty learned that an old injury to vertebrae in his neck is pushing against the part of his brain responsible for movement and emotion. This is welcome news to Ty and his family because it means they may be narrowing in on the physical cause for his recent medical problems.