“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” – Michael J. Fox
October is anti-bullying awareness month. Sadly, many of our Wish Kids have been victims of bullying simply because of their illness or condition. Just like Kids Wish Network, our very own Guardian Angel sponsor actor Michael J. Fox, affected by his own illness, has taken a stand against bullying.
Celebrities Struggle with Bullies too…
Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It is characterized by tremors, changes in speech, rigid muscles, slowed movement, impaired posture and balance as well as loss of automatic movements. Michael has struggled with his diagnosis of the years and understands what it means to feel “different” as do many of our Wish Kids. He says that often times the way he feels on the inside doesn’t match his outward appearance because of his illness. Michael calls it “damaging” when people point out the disparity, but to him the worst part is “being alone and if you feel alone you’ve got nowhere to turn.”
Advice on Taking Action…
Michael has some great advice on how we all can help those who are being bullied. He suggests that “if you see someone being bullied or picked on – if you don’t have the courage to go to the person in front of other people that are bullying them – find a moment when you can go to that person alone and just kind of say “I see what is happening to you and I feel bad about it. I don’t know what I can do about it but I feel bad about it.” Victims of bullying need to know that they have friends and a support system to lean on. They need to know that they are NOT alone.
Other celebrities have shared advice to help combat bullying:
• Lily Collins – Say hey to someone quiet or shy. Allow yourself the opportunity to make a new friend.
• Alan Cummings – Share your story. If you’ve been bullied, let others know how you made it through.
• Andy Cohen – High-five at least five people. A little friendly gesture can go a long way.
• Melissa Joan Hart – Discuss bullying with someone younger and offer up the best piece of advice you’ve ever received.
• Moby – Spread good vibes by sending a song that always puts you in a good mood to a friend you think may need it.
• Jamie Lee Curtis – Sit with someone new at lunch and encourage others to join in.
• Shonda Rhimes – Build your courage by saying yes to something outside of your comfort zone – like getting help with your bullying situation.
Michael J. Fox made #WishKid Gideon the happiest fan ever when he spent the day with him at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Read his story here