11/14/2013 05:01 pm ET | Updated Nov 14, 2013

Sarah Atwell Confronts Bullying, Neuro­fibromatosis, In 'Girl With Half A Face,' (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Sarah Atwell, 17, of Windsor, Canada, has a form of neurofibromatosis that has caused facial disfigurement since she was eight months old.

Her story is the focus of "Girl With Half A Face," a documentary debuting Dec. 18 on Discovery Fit & Health.

If you can't wait that long to find out about this inspiring girl, check out the pictures and facts about her below.

  • Sarah Atwell: Girl With Half A Face
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Sarah Atwell, 17, suffers from neurofibromatosis, a rare disease that has caused a massive tumor to develop on half her face.
  • Sarah Atwell As A Toddler.
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell, 17, was about eight months old when one side of her face began to appear larger than the other. That's when doctors discovered she had a genetic disorder that causes tumours in tissues that surround nerves throughout the body, according to the Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald.
  • Young Sarah At Age 5.
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell's appearance once made a grocery store cashier refused to take her money.
  • Sarah Atwell In Her Bedroom
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell's appearance has made her the subject of intense bullying from the time she was 10. She confronted the attacks last year with a YouTube video that asked for compassion.
  • Sarah With Her Dog
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell has undergone at least three reconstructive surgeries since November 2010 and plans to continue with plastic surgery until the tumor is gone, according to
  • Sarah Atwell At Age 8
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell's life story, including potentially life-saving surgery is featured on "Girl With Half A Face," a documentary debuting Dec. 18 on Discovery Fit & Health.
  • Sarah In High School
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell has tried to keep positive despite her situation by busying herself with writing poems, volunteering as a teacher's aide at a local elementary school in her hometown of Windsor, Canada.
  • Sarah After Surgery
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Along with the physical disfigurement, Atwell's disorder, officially called type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1), causes severe headaches and blurred vision.
  • Sarah With School Kids
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Atwell gets a lot of comfort working with smaller kids, because they see below the surface.
  • Sarah Atwell And Tara MacAskill
    Discovery Fit & Health
    Neurofibromatosis runs in Atwell's family. Her mother, Tara MacAskill, has a different type than her daughter; a type that causes tumors to sprout up on different parts of her body.


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