Julia Wetmore has become known across the U.S. as the “girl without a face.” She was born with a genetic disorder named Treacher Collins Syndrome that causes deformations in the face. But Juliana has the worst case that has been documented up until now.
Four months before Juliana is born, irregularities are discovered and the doctors cannot say with certainty what is wrong. But nothing could have prepared the doctors or the parents for the sight that Julia presents after her birth.
The newborn’s little face is hardly recognizable as such. The little girl’s body is completely healthy; only the face is missing bones, causing deformations and breathing difficulties. The doctor believe that she won’t survive the night. But Juliana is a fighter from the beginning on.
Tami and Thom Wetmore are not able to hold their little daughter until 5 days after her birth. The parents are completely indifferent to their daughter’s appearance. They enjoy this intimate moment to the fullest, immediately developing deep feeling for the little girl, despite the deformations.
The doctors soon determine that Juliana is missing important bones necessary for hearing and is thus almost deaf. But nevertheless, she can see well in her right eye and most importantly: her brain functions completely normally.
6 years later, after countless operations, Juliana hasn’t lost a hint of her fighter’s spirit. She has mastered sign language and attends a school for deaf children. The intelligent child excels at school. But no matter how lovingly her family cares for her, neither her parents nor her sisters are able to fully understand or comprehend how she really feels. But that is about to change…
Far away from the Wetmore family lives a girl named Danica. A little girl who is the same age as Juliana and suffers from the same disorder. The children could have really been the best friends in the world. Danica suffers from a milder case of the syndrome, but her life isn’t any easier as she has another hurdle to overcome: Danica has no family to support her, to love her, or to protect her. She was given up for adoption after her birth and has lived in an orphanage in Ukraine since her birth. The girl is never visited there. Her life is predetermined: as soon as she’s old enough, the orphanage will no longer be able to care for her, damning her to a life on the streets.
But before it can progress this far, the Wetmores enter Danica’s life! The family reads about the little girl online, who so desperately needs an adoptive parents. They travel to the Ukraine to visit her. After this first and single visit the two parents look at each other and known immediately how the others feel. “Let’s do it. Let’s get our daughter and fly home.” The Wetmores adopt Danica.
The now 12-year-old Juliana, who has the already astounding number of 45 operations behind her, was thus able to grow up with a sister that truly understands her. The family adopted a further 3 children, who, together with Juliana’s older sister, form a gang of 6 beautiful little rascals. In this community, Juliana and Danica are able to grow up sheltered and protected. Juliana amazes everyone with her exceptional intelligence and Danica is a truly remarkable and talented artist.