We’ve told you before about Lizzie Velasquez, the woman who, at age 17, saw a YouTube clip labeling her as the “Ugliest Woman In The World” and suggesting she kill herself because of her appearance. Today, it’s been 10 years since Lizzie first saw that horrible video. And now she is stronger than ever, and fighting against bullying.
Lizzie has neonatal progeroid syndrome, a rare genetic disease that prevents her from gaining weight and effects her heart, eyes, and bones. In the video below, Lizzie speaks to a crowd at an event promoting Bullying Prevention Month, and she shares some of her experience growing up with this rare disease.
“After I found that video, I decided I had two choices.” she says in reference to being labeled the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’, “I could either let their words define me or I could create my own words and define myself. And that’s what I decided to do!”
In the last 10 years, since making that decision, Lizzie has become a motivational speaker, a YouTube star, authored four books (her most recent, titled Dare to Be Kind, is now available for pre-order), and has become the subject of a documentary, “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.”
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“I feel like I’m walking on cloud nine day now,” Valesquez says of her current life. “To be able to connect with people around the world who are touched by my story and now feel confident to stand up for themselves makes me feel like I’m living out my purpose.”
“I was able to get on the other side of bullying and, if I was able to do that, then you can absolutely get there as well.”
Check out the video below for a sneak peek into how Lizzie is using her story to touch the world.
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