Meet Sanshegay, originally from St. Elizabeth but resides in Kingston where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business Administration at the University of Technology, Jamaica, W.I. Like most people her age, she loves watching movies, listening to music, spending time with her best friends and going to the Emancipation Park, where she gets to clear her mind, relax and think. Sanshegay can be described as sassy, determined, a great leader and motivator.
However, her journey isn’t your typical one…
Unlike her friends, Sanshegay was born with a rare bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta also known as Brittle bone disease. Osteogenesis Imperfecta is as a genetically heterogeneous connective tissue disorder which is characterized by bone fragility and thus repeated bone fractures. In a nutshell, it means that anything she does can result in her bones breaking, for example, kicking a ball or running and tripping.
Subsequently, Sanshegay spent a number of her childhood years at the hospital, being unable to play outside with friends or attending school. With the support of her loving mother, other family, friends, and Dr. Sawh, she was able to overcome the obstacles she faced. She still did well in school and excelled in extra-curricular activities. She participated in several clubs and debate competitions, where she was awarded a number of medals with her peers. Sanshegay has the type of spirit that never gives up, she’s outspoken, determined and stands as a great leader, which shines outwards even today as she serves as President of the University of Technology, Jamaica Rural Society. She has also been awarded the opportunity to participate in the Jamaica Movement group as one of their external affairs chairperson.
She is no ordinary woman, she’s unique and remarkable in living everyday life with a disease that is life-threatening and limiting. This project serves to highlight her story and how she has risen above her condition to excel and achieve her dreams.
In 2017 I released two projects; one on my late friend entitled “Fighting Sarcoma: The Jodi-Ann Project” in March 2017 and “The Strip Down: A Davianne T Project” in December 2017, which eventually lead to the moniker “Visual Advocate” coined by fellow photographer Sean Murray.
In 2018 Sanshegay reached out to me via social media after seeing the interview I conducted with Davianne Tucker for the Strip Down project. She had been trying to tell her story for a number of years, but due to lack of resources and shyness, never got a chance to act on it, we met one day where she shared everything about her illness and growing pains and how she loved the idea of sharing her story via video format.
After hearing her story I decided to take this on as my next project. Being the Visual Ninja, of course, I decided I wanted to do more than just interview her, so alongside my mentee Amani Campbell, we sat down another day with Sanshegay and brainstormed a series of looks and a documentary to properly convey her story of suffering, acceptance, and resilience.
The Issue and Suffering
Acceptance and Healing
The Rising and Resilience
Behind The Scenes Video:
1st Screening at Chilitos’s Jamexican Restaurant on March 2nd, 2019
2nd Screening at the University of Technology, Jamaica, W.I. on March 22nd, 2019
Jamaica Gleaner; OutLook Magazine: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/outlook/20190217/i-learned-walk-age-11
Daytime Live; 8th March, 2019
RJR Guest Room: 20th March, 2019
Talk Up Yout, Nationwide FM: 30th March, 2019
Make-Up: The Makeup Fairy
Swimwear: Nicole Bryan
Accessories: Chrissy’s Coils
Props: Tai Flora, Taryn Bridgewater and Stefan Clarke
BTS Video: Usheen Ewbanks
BTS Editing: Vartex Studio
Studio: Paradox Studio Ja
The Makeup Fairy
Taryn Bridgewater (Paper Flowers)
Stefan Clarke (Bones)
Bustamante Hospital for Children (Facilitating interview with Dr. Sawh)
Special Thanks to everyone who helped and donated x-rays and other materials needed for this project to be a success;
-Jik-Reuben Pringle, The Visual Ninja
~Peace, Perfect Peace~