John has always been a very active kid and excellent wrestler, so a bump or bruise was normal for the teen. But after the wrestling season ended and John’s latest bruise didn’t go away, his family grew concerned. Add in the fact that he started coughing up blood, and they knew something was definitely wrong.
After a few tests, the doctor was able to diagnose John easily; the teen suffered from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
Once back in school, John had difficulty explaining his illness to his friends. As part of his treatment, he was prescribed steroids, but the steroids caused adverse side effects to his appearance. That’s when the bullying from his former friends and teammates began. They started teasing him, saying mean and hurtful things to him in a “joking” fashion.
John said he did his best to ignore the teasing and just let it happen, though it was very hurtful. An inspirational young man, John has remained positive, and raising awareness about bullying in school has stayed close to his heart. “You never know what someone else is going through. Dealing with an illness is really tough without people being mean”.