As a toddler, Philly Mayer was healthy and happy. A chubby baby, he was quick to laugh and eager to get up on his own feet. And then, before his first birthday, Philly suddenly stopped walking. His motor skills began to deteriorate. After a slew of tests and endless emotional upheaval, doctors diagnosed Philly with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic disease that occurs in an estimated 1 out of every 6,000 births and leaves the spine underdeveloped. His parents were told that he would not live past seven. A Thousand More is the story of one family’s determination to give their son a whole and vital life.
Photojournalist. Piotr Malecki is a freelance photojournalist based in Warsaw, Poland. He worked as a staff photographer at “Wprost”, a Polish newsweekly magazine, but decided to become independent to be able to concentrate on his own projects and ideas. Since then Piotr has been traveling and working on numerous stories, choosing the ones that move his heart and are important to him as a journalist trying to understand the changing world.
Piotr hopes that with the new exciting possibilities of reporting that have emerged thanks to new technology and the modern ways of reaching the audience, photojournalist can talk louder about important issues and try to make a difference.
Piotr Malecki is a recipient of 13 Polish and international awards for photos and multimedia. He has also participated in solo and group photo exhibitions in Poland, China, USA and New Zealand, including National Geographic Poland exhibition.
Photographer. Jeff Rhode has over 20 years of experience in photography. As a member of the award-winning photo staff at The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), he helped to develop the paper’s video department and played key roles in launching such projects as Ledger-Live, The Star-Ledger daily newscast. During that time Jeff was also the director of production for The Heart Gallery of NJ, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to putting a face on adoptable foster children in New Jersey, and videographer for Do1Thing.org, which raises awareness of the plight of homeless children in America. His work in video led him to invent three professional video camera accessories under the brand “The J-Rod”, which are currently available at B&H Photo, Adorama Photo, and several other retailers.
Jeff left The Star-Ledger in 2009 and now works at Holy Name Medical Center as a multimedia specialist and shoots freelance architectural photography and family journalism.
Kristina Budelis is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker based in New York. A recent graduate of Barnard College, she interned in the photography and multimedia departments of The New Yorker as an undergraduate. She now works there as a multimedia producer, creating videos and audio slideshows from start to finish. She occasionally photographs and blogs for newyorker.com.
She holds a B.A. in English and Film Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University, and has also studied at the Maine Media Workshops and at NYU Tisch Film School’s outpost in Paris, France.