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Editor's Note: At age 17, Lizzie Velasquez stumbled upon a YouTube video of the "World's Ugliest Woman" with four million views and thousands upon thousands of horrible, mean comments.Lizzie was born with neonatal progeroid syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder that affects her heart, eyes and bones, as well as prevents her from gaining weight.The girl in the YouTube video that everyone was making fun of was her. But what she did after that day changed her life forever. She's now a motivational speaker, a national advocate for anti-bullying and a documentary filmmaker.
Every person on this earth has had to deal with bullying in some way or another. Many years ago, bullying was something that happened on the school yard. It then turned into name-calling and physical fights. Now cyberbullying has become a whole new world in itself. I was introduced to the world of bullying in elementary school and was unexpectedly introduces to the world of cyberbullying in high school.
My parents are two of the greatest people I know. They raised me and my siblings the exact same way. They created a foundation for us to grow on. They watered that foundation with love, happiness and lots of laughter.
Getting ready to start kindergarten was such an exciting time for me. I couldn't wait to get to school and make new friends. Unfortunately, the other kids hadn't been around me before and weren't really sure how to react to me. When I asked my parents what was wrong with me, they told me nothing at all. They told me that the only thing different about me was that I was smaller than the other kids.
I, of course, still had to deal with the name-calling and the teasing but everyone around me was always so positive. They never allowed me to feel sorry for myself. When I found the bad video on YouTube, I was absolutely devastated. I felt like I would never be able to pick myself back up from that again.
I'm blessed to have such an amazing support system. They are my everything. They let me cry on their shoulder, share a laugh when I need it and support me no matter what. They are truly the reason why I found the light on the other side of being bullied.
I've been asked many times how someone who is being bullied and doesn't have a support system can overcome bullying. I always tell them that all you need is one person. One person that you can count on on the good days and the bad days.
If you ever feel as though you are being bullied and you feel like you're the only one in the world dealing with it, I'm here to tell you that you're not alone. There is a light on the other side of being bullied. When you are ready to be brave enough to push through all of the hard days, find your own voice, and do whatever you can to first help yourself. Then be a helping hand for someone else who might feel as if they are alone. All it takes is one person at a time.