My name is Cassie, I am 16 years old. Since I was born really, I’ve had health issues. It started with severe gastro-esophageal reflux and asthma that hospitalized me a lot as an infant. At 18 months old, my legs started giving me issues and the doctor kept saying it was muscle spasms or cramps; growing pains. I am hearing impaired on the left side and totally deaf on the right side. I have a mild form of cerebral palsy that I used to wear leg braces for and the shoe orthotics that when I ran it made me run a little different. I was bullied bad for that and still am because I still “run different”. I also was diagnosed with seizure disorder that has now resolved itself as I grew out of it. I’ve been bullied since elementary school for my hearing impairment and mild cerebral palsy. In elementary school I was getting bullied for having seizures because my seizures were the type that would appear that I was staring into space and people would say “you got a staring problem” or “oh look it’s the staring girl” or “it’s the day dreamer”, I would even tell them I had seizures but they never believed me or they just did not care, it was just another excuse for them to make fun of me. It was a lot more severe than this but this is the condensed version.
When I was 12 years old, this was my hardest year of my life; it was the year I got diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis in January and Juvenile Dermatomyositis on October 28, 2011. That’s when all of a sudden one day I woke up and could no longer walk. I was having a lot of pain prior to this and rashes on my face and swelling all over all of my joints. Nothing in life can prepare a 12 year old to wake up in the morning with the amount of pain and not be able to move her legs. That was where I was at. I screamed for my mom and stepdad. They did not know what to think. They knew I was in a lot of pain and they could not have prepared themselves for the utter desperation I could see in their faces when they realized I really could not move my legs. I was stuck in a wheel chair and I couldn’t walk. I had to switch between a walker and a wheelchair a lot. A lot of people made fun of me for that. Middle schoolers do not understand how the kid that walked a couple of days before with problems is now in a wheelchair, so they had a field day with my emotional state of mind. How many comments can you hear when you are rolling through the hallways and hear come on, you get to leave early, are you to heavy where you can’t get that thing moving any faster? I heard so many nasty comments. Then it was oh forget it, that is the deaf and dumb girl. The list went on and on. This school year, my sophomore year has been my worse year yet of being bullied. It has gone from a guy showing me inappropriate pictures on his phone, to severe name calling, to a couple football players kicking me in the back daily with my arthritis and dermatomyositis, because their friends did not like the way I looked. When I reported this to the authorities at school it was like I was the bully and the bullies were the victims. I felt terrible and didn’t say anything to my mom for a while. It kept happening for a long time, day in and day out. A couple of girls who threatened by text in school to come to my house and kill me while I was home from school sick that day. My mom called the principal; he said he couldn’t do anything about it while the girls were at school. He told her to call the local police and she did, nothing happened. The local police came; made the report, gave us a report number. It did not go any further. The girls got a warning and that was it. It continued until two of the girls moved. That was my saving grace in this situation. The most important thing when being bullied is to tell an adult and DON’T KEEP QUIET ABOUT IT EVER! Remember if your being bullied put your head up and stand tall. Some tools I’ve used that have helped me are to smile at them and think good things about you. The other thing is write some good things in your life on a piece of paper and read it every day. Do not ever give up! My mom and I never gave up and right now I am safe. I am hoping and praying it stays that way. If it doesn’t, my mom and I will give them hell again. I am so privileged to tell everyone that friends made June 6, Cassie’s Day. I am honored to invite everyone and feel so humbled to accept. I am a bully advocate because I want to help people who are being bullied because I know what it feels like. I can also tell them that it does get better; just wait and see. The thing is don’t sit around and not tell somebody that you are being bullied. This is just temporary even though it feels like a permanent situation and the end of the world. PLEASE GET HELP! This is the place that my mom and I turned to when the docs diagnosed me with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) and told me that there was not a lot of info on it. They handed my mom my discharge papers with a four line explanation of (JDM) on it. We walked out of the hospital on the 29th of October 2011 and did not know where to turn. A friend of ours, Danielle told us about Cure JM and we looked them up and they saved my mom's state of mind. We both felt like we were going to lose our minds because it was a lot on us, but I was young and didn't understand back then. Thank God for Cure JM.www.curejm.org #Imbullyfree #Stopbullying #CureJM #kidsgetarthritistoo #MissTexasFinalist #Stopbullying #Arthritis #autoimmmune #OA #RA #Nobullying #brain #ChronicPain #hearingloss #rare #JM #JDM #love #nationalamericanmiss #chemotherapyinjections #infusions @Cassandras_JDM @nascarangel70
To learn more about me, go to:www.facebook.com/CassandrasJourneywithJDMhttp://youtu.be/RVn24YuPCxc?t=10s Imbullyfree speechhttp://youtu.be/bwRUL-eYckMCassie's Journey...putting it into words is a lot harder.