Bullies Mock ‘Monster’ Child Till He Tries To Kill Himself. 37 Yrs Later Transformation Is Stunning
You may already be familiar with the movie Wonder which is coming out this week. It is based on a book by the same name written by R. J. Palacio.
The story follows fifth-grader August “Auggie” Pullman who was born with a rare deformity called mandibulofacial dysostosis, akin to Treacher Collins syndrome. While Auggie has been homeschooled for most of his life, his parents have decided to enroll him in a private school for middle school.
While navigating middle school is difficult for anyone, Auggie also has to deal with the curious stares, rude questions, and cruel comments from his classmates who rush to judge him based on his outward appearance rather than getting to know who he is as a person.
While Auggie’s story is fictional, there are many real people in the world today who deal with the same struggles.
Michael Goodman is one such person.
Michael was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. It has affected the development of his ears, cheekbones, and lower jaw.
Growing up, Michael says he encountered 75 percent of the social struggles Auggie dealt with. During his senior year of high school, he even attempted suicide twice.
Thankfully, his attempts were unsuccessful and Michael went on to live an inspiring life.
While some people might look at Michael and assume he can’t do the same things others can, that is certainly not the case. He graduated from college and went on to medical school, becoming a pediatrician.
He has passions and hobbies just like the rest of us.
“I love ice hockey, ice cream, and quite possibly, Maggie, on The Walking Dead,” the 37-year-old joked.
While he can’t change his outward appearance, over the years, Michael has transformed on the inside from a person who wanted to end his life to someone filled with confidence, passion, and dreams.
Sadly, he does still occasionally encounter the same kind of bullying he did when he was younger. One family even refused to let him treat their child due to his appearance and speech.
While it is heartbreaking that this lack of compassion and understanding is something he still has to deal with, Michael has decided to use his unique position to speak out for others like him and encourage people to show a little more kindness.
“Words can and do hurt,” he said. “People with facial deformities want to be treated like any other normally developed person: respected, even loved.”
While our natural reaction when seeing something different from us can be to stare or even reject, Michael encourages people to show the same love and respect to others they would wish to receive themselves.
It’s simple really:
“Please choose kindness.”
We all have a little good inside us. Share it today!