credit: @littlelizziev / Instagram

Get a Box of Tissues Before You Read This Woman’s Brave Fight Against Bullying

Bullying

This is Lizzie Velasquez…

She is 26 years old and a FIERCE anti-bullying activist.

And this is her amazing family.

One of the many reasons why I love my family!! @abraveheartfilm

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

You may have seen Velasquez in a viral Ted Talk about bullying and self-esteem.

LizzieTedTalk
Credit: Lizzie Velasquez / YouTube

The video has garnered more than 8 million views since it was posted.

Velasquez was born with lipodystrophy and Marfan Syndrome.

#MarfanFoundation #WalkForVictory #RIPUncleDuggie #RaiseAwareness #SaveLives #KeepCalmAndKnowTheSigns

A photo posted by Brittany Love (@loveatfirstbiteatl) on

Lipodystrophy is a condition that prevents those affected from gaining and maintaining body fat. Marfan Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the heart, eyes, and bones.

Velasquez spent her childhood thinking she wasn’t any different from other kids.

DidntThinkIWasDifferent
Credit: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

Her family always made it a point to treat her like any other family member and never discussed her condition as something that was different.

“At the time I thought that everyone looked like me. I couldn’t recognize or tell that they didn’t look like me,” Velasquez recalls.

That all changed when Velasquez was 17.

TheVideo
Credit: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

One afternoon, while looking for music on YouTube, Velasquez came across a video titled The World’s Ugliest Woman, which showed her during an TV interview.

Strangers on the Internet were telling Velasquez to kill herself.

Comments
Credit: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

But she didn’t let the hateful comments defeat her.

Velasquez decided to confront the bullying.

So Velasquez became an anti-bullying advocate, speaking all over the world, using her story as inspiration.

Velasquez has taken her fight all the way to Capitol Hill.

Morning of Day 2 on Capitol Hill. #endbullyingssia

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

Velasquez pushed Congress to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act to fight against bullying in public schools.

Filmmaker Sara Hirsch Bordo followed Velasquez and documented her story.

Big Lizzie, Little Sara!

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

Bordo, who hosted the Ted Talk in Austin where she first met Velasquez, created a documentary titled A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.  It follows Velasquez as she travels the world speaking to hundreds of people about her experience.

Check out the full trailer below (You’re going to need a box of tissues):

Are you inspired by Lizzie Velasquez’s story? mitú wants to know. Tell us in the comments below!

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