Culture

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

This is Lizzie Velasquez…

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

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.

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

Filmmaker Sara Hirsch Bordo followed Velasquez and documented her story.

Big Lizzie, Little Sara!

A photo posted by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on

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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Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

Fierce

Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

GoFundMe

There is still so much that we do not know about Covid-19. One of the biggest mysteries is the long term effect of the virus after people recover. One of the most common things caused by Covid is the need for lung transplants. A Latina leader in Milwaukee experienced just that.

Carmen Lerma is a beloved member of the Latino community of Milwaukee.

Lerma was diagnosed with Covid-19 in July. At the time, cases were growing across the country and we knew even less about the virus than we know now. Lerma’s Covid diagnosis led to the beloved community member needing a double lung transplant because of the viciousness of this virus.

“She is very kind. She is very loved,” fellow volunteer and friend Carmen Hernandez said of Lerma to NBC News. “I feel so bad for her situation right now. She can’t even breathe. It’s really hard for me to see her going through this when she’s such an active person.”

Months after her diagnosis, Lerma has a new pair of lungs.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

The Covid-19 pandemic is entering a new and terrifying chapter as cases are growing around the world. Countries in Europe are implementing new restrictions to control the spread of Covid and certain states are follow suit to protect residents. Lerma is hoping that her story can help to convince people of the severity of the virus.

Lerma’s story highlights the seriousness of Covid-19 complications after surviving a diagnosis.

Lung transplants for Covid-19 patients are becoming more and more common as more people are infected with the virus. Currently, more than 8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Covid. More than 220,000 people have died and cases, which never significantly decreased, are on the rise again in most states.

Lerma is using her story to get people to care about Covid-19.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

There has been a lot of misinformation spread about Covid that has contributed to the spikes. President Donald Trump used his own diagnosis to tell people not to worry about the virus and to get out there and live life, something health experts around the world rebuked. Even Harvard University released a study debunking the claim that certain blood types are more resistant or prone to Covid-19.

In one of the most American traditions, friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of Lerma’s medical care.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 of the $100,000 they are hoping to raise to pay for Lerma’s medical costs. She spent months in hospitals fighting the virus that is currently devastating Wisconsin as it spreads unimpeded. Wisconsin is facing one of the worst outbreaks in the U.S. right now after a conservative judge declared Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions to slow the spread. The state’s Republican Party is suing to reverse the mask mandate, the single strongest tool we have to battle the virus and save lives.

READ: Joe Biden Walks Away With Final Presidential Debate On Healthcare, Covid, And Many Issues

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This Latina On Instagram Is Using Art And Social Media To Share Her Journey of Embracing Her Vitiligo

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This Latina On Instagram Is Using Art And Social Media To Share Her Journey of Embracing Her Vitiligo

radiantbambi / Instagram

Ash Soto is a young Latina living in Florida using social media to bring acceptance and self-love to the vitiligo community. The Instagrammer has more than 166,000 followers and uses her platform to deliver art and activism one post at a time. Vitiligo is a skin condition and this Latina is reclaiming her skin one photo at a time.

Ash Soto is giving the vitiligo community some love and representation on social media.

Soto is a 24-year-old Instagrammer who is using her platform to show off her vitiligo and give the community some love and representation. The sudden social media star is catching a lot of attention after showing off her body in a way followers hadn’t seen before.

According to an interview with Self, Soto first started her Instagram page to do makeup and only showed her face. The reason was that she was uncomfortable showing people that part of herself.

Soto uses art to highlight and celebrate her vitiligo.

You might recognize Soto because of her incredible body art that is giving her vitiligo all of the self-love and acceptance. It is all part of her mission to reclaim her skin and make other people comfortable in theirs.

“I remember back when I was really young—you know when you’re in middle school, you try to fit in with the crowd,” Soto told Self. “I wasn’t fitting in. People made fun of me to the point where I would cry myself to sleep every night.”

Soto was young when she was diagnosed with vitiligo.

View this post on Instagram

Which one is your fav? 🌎🖌

A post shared by ASH SOTO (@radiantbambi) on

Vitiligo is a skin condition where a person loses the pigmentation of their skin. The cells in the skin that produce the pigmentation die or stop functioning leading to the loss of skin color over time. The disease shows up as splotches on the skin without pigmentation.

“I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin. I was always trying to find a way to look at my skin in a positive light, [and] I couldn’t do that before starting this,” Soto told Daily Mail. Now what others would perceive as an imperfection, I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”

Soto has been living with her vitiligo since she was 12 years old.

A moment in her teens made her embarrassed of her body and her skin. When she was a teenager, a little girl on the beach asked her if she took a shower in bleach. According to Daily Mail, that was when Soto wanted to lock herself away from the world.

Years later, Soto is flipping the script and embracing her vitiligo in all of its glory. You can follow Soto and her vitiligo journey on Instagram at @radiantbambi.

“If you feel beautiful, that’s what matters,” Soto told Self. “No one can say anything if you feel happy with yourself.”

READ: At Just 6 Years Old, She Told Her Parents To Put An End To The Birthmark Removal Treatments She Was Going Through

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