Six weeks ago, Breanna Mendoza was ready to end her life. The teen, born with a rare congenital condition called Goldenhar syndrome, which causes a deformity to one side of the face, was sick and tired of being bullied.
"When I was finally feeling happy for once, I got knocked back down," Mendoza told News 10 of the teasing, which got so bad that she was forced to leave her middle school after students threatened to beat her up. Due to her birth defect, any hit to the face could prove fatal.
Mendoza got emotional when talking about the bullying. (Photo Credit: News 10)
“I felt like I was hopeless, like I had no other reason to be alive. So I had sent a few text messages to my friends, saying, 'I'm sorry, goodbye, that I care about you guys,'" she recalled of her suicidal thoughts.
But after Mendoza and her family sat down with a local news station to share her story, strangers from all over the world began sending her messages of encouragement.
"I've gotten so many friend requests," she shared. "I've gotten so many people texting me, saying 'we're very proud of you, you're so amazing, you're beautiful, we love you.'"
(Photo Credit: News 10)
When the Children's Craniofacial Association, an organization that helps families of facially disfigured kids, heard about Mendoza's situation, they offered her and her parents a fully funded trip to their annual family retreat in California, where the eighth grader will be able to meet other individuals like her.
"Going from being the one being bullied to the one standing up to the bullies is a big step and I'm super happy that I did it," Mendoza told News 10. "And hopefully it will help other kids be able to step up, too, and realize that they're not alone."
Watch an interview with her below:
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