Canadian 24-year-old Amanda Guthrie lost her right eye to Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that attacks muscle and soft tissue. She was diagnosed and treated at eight years old. After the cancer returned at age 11, Guthrie decided to remove the eye to rid herself of the cancer, rather than opting for another round of chemotherapy.
Since the age of 13, she’s worn an eye prosthesis on and off, and faced down the whispers, stares, and questions from strangers about her appearance. But rather than accept the shade, Guthrie chose to be radically honest about her battle with cancer, in order to empower other survivors. She started an inspiring blog, Eye’d Like 2 Explain Something 2 U, to document the process of getting a new prosthesis and demystify the process for people curious about her condition.
Guthrie took pictures of the specialists who worked on crafting a prosthesis for her, down to selfies in the mirror with the ocular molds that she tried on. It’s full of charming little details and Guthrie’s sense of humor, like how when she got her first prosthesis, she wanted to get an eye with zebra stripes and black-and-white eyelashes. And it’s a wonderful way to confront body-shaming.
“We should live in a society that is accepting of our bodies and doesn’t constantly try to box them in or label them as wrong,” Guthrie told Canada’s Metro News. “That was another really great way to educate people, not only on my prosthesis, but actually what my body looks like.”
“I am alive and I am healthy now,” Guthrie continued. “That should be something that’s celebrated. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I don’t feel sorry for myself.”
Amen, Amanda. We think you and your blog are thoroughly amazing.