Mazeda was born in 1995 with a small tumour on the right-side of her face. This was originally thought to be a benign tumour but over the course of the first two years of her life it grew rapidly in size to cause an horrendous swelling on the right-side of her face, which progressed up behind her right eye, pushing it out (proptosis) and compressing the nerve at the back, making her permanently blind in this eye. This was found to be a malignant yolk-sac tumour and she was initially treated with chemotherapy.
Following this she underwent surgery through an incision just in front of her right ear and into her right neck. The malignant tumour was removed from her right eye socket, right upper jaw and right lower jaw in 1998.
After her operation she attended the portrait sitting wearing this beautiful green dress. It was the first full-length portrait that Mark Gilbert made because he felt that this format captured Mazeda much better than a simple head and shoulders pose.