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Standing up to bullies, girl says, 'I have a tumor, that's all'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 2nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Suffering from neurofibromatosis, 17-year-old Sarah Atwell of Ontario, Canada, the resulting tumor caused one side of her face to grow abnormally. Cruel bullies have taunted her with epithets of "fat face" and "slut" for several years. In response, Atwell took to the Internet to share her story and declared she would live a happy life - no matter what the bullies said.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Posting a video to Facebook, she partially conquered some of the pain associated with her disfigurement.

Her strong will has won Atwell droves of fans across the cyber community. In addition, it's gotten her a special on Discovery Fit & Health slated to air this December 18.

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The TV special will show Atwell, who lives with her family in Nova Scotia, in the weeks leading up to what she hopes will be a life-altering surgery to remove the tumor once and for all.

"I thought I'd make a video and say what's been going on," she told Discovery.

"The next day I got up and my in-box was over 1000 messages or more from people,' she said.

Dealing with bullying her entire life, at 16 she was fed up.

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"I was in grade three and people were calling me names like 'fat face' and 'ugly' and were pushing me around," Sarah says. "They said I had a disease. Most of the time, I just walked away and didn't say much to them."

Using note cards in her 2012 online video, she wrote out everything her life with neurofibromatosis, and the bullies who came with it, made her feel.

"I have a tumor, that's all ...

"I wish people could understand there is nothing wrong with me," another card read.

"I get called names all the time," reads another card. 'Bitch, slut, fat face, fat, ugly . it hurts.

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"Maybe one day the bullying will stop, but until then I'm going to be STRONG,' one of the last cards says.

Now a senior in high school, the TV special also shows her preparing to undergo a surgery she hopes will be her last. Atwell today is a new woman.

"It's pretty awesome. I am pretty sure most of it is gone except a little bit around the eyes," she says. "The doctor said he could not be sure if it would come back or not."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)