Despite supreme efforts, unfortunately bullying and ridicule for the weak is something that still exists in our society, and especially in schools.
One person named Ashley from England, knows this well. He suffers from Treacher Collins Syndrome, a syndrome which affects the structure of the facial bones. he explained:
“I was born without ears, without cheekbones, and my jaw receded. I underwent more than 30 surgeries, including three jaw surgeries and ear transplants.
When I was a baby, I underwent cataract surgery because I swallowed my tongue and became lame. The only way doctors could save me was to insert a tube. Peter Andre’s mother-in-law saved my life!”
As you can probably imagine, Ashley’s school life was not easy. He said that although his memories of home were full of love and kindness, at school the story was completely different.
“After a week at school the bullying started with two children”, he explained.
“It started when things were thrown at me, like bottle caps, food, etc. It only got worse as the months went by, to the point that they would pin me to the wall, and that’s what upset me.
The thugs took over Ashley’s life, to the point that his mental health began to deteriorate. He would come home in tears every day, and seeing his mother sad affected him greatly.
“Luckily for me in middle school it was not as bad as in elementary. They would still stare at me, point at me and throw things at me, but overall it was better.
In 2016 I became a volunteer at a local animal charity and really loved it, and later a waiter at a local restaurant. Meeting new people was wonderful, but I always wanted to join the health and welfare industry”.
So in 2017 he contacted an organization called Fixers, which works with young people and directs them to use their past to fix the future. Through the association, Ashley was part of a campaign he launched about his past abuse. This led to interviews on radio stations as well as on popular TV shows in which he told his story.
“In November of that year, I became an assistant and as part of my job I worked with adults with learning difficulties. I really liked helping them.
So in December 2018 I changed jobs and started working with an association called MENCAP. My anti-bullying campaign has been amazing and successful so far”.
Now Ashley’s goal is to help those who are suffering from various difficulties. He wants people to be open about the things they are going through and talk about the abuse they have been through so they can get help.
He said: “I would like people to open up and talk about it, instead of keeping it to themselves.
My goals for the future are to continue to share my story and increase awareness of the issue. I want to write a book and maybe work in the TV industry in the future. Since I did the campaign, my life has changed completely. It made my life amazing”.
Ashley recently spoke for the first time at his old school. He admitted it was very scary, talking to kids and sharing his story, but the feedback he received was amazing.
“I’m glad I’m making a difference in people’s lives, I just want to keep sharing my story wherever possible and keep raising awareness and spreading the message. Because we’re all different, we’re unique and amazing each in his own way and you have to treat everyone the same. Life is amazing and I can’t wait for the future to come.
Let’s stop the bullying together!”.
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