“Could a scar be like the rings of a tree reopen with each emotional season?”
― Magenta Periwinkle
(The following post North Carolina Boy Writes Selfless Letter Asking Santa For Help For His Bullied Sister by Erik Ortiz appeared on nydailynews.com on September 17, 2013. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)
It was an early “Dear Santa” request — but the heartfelt plea couldn’t come soon enough.
In a touching letter gaining traction online, an 8-year-old North Carolina boy asks St. Nick for his help: His twin sister is being bullied at school, and all he wants for Christmas is for it to stop — and for her to get whatever she wants.
“Dear Santa … I wanted a (remote control) car and helicopter, but I don’t want that anymor. Kid at school are still picking on Amber and its not fair,” the handwritten note reads. “I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help.”
“Is it against the rules to give gift early?” he asks.
He goes on to say his sister’s birthday is coming up and he’d like for the stars of the Nickelodeon show, “Big Time Rush,” to drop by.
“If you can’t get them to come but just get her everything she ask for,” he writes, and then adds a “PS.”
“My mom throw the best B-day partys (you) can come if you want.”
Mom Karen Suffern, of Rocky Mount, shared her story on Facebook over the weekend, including with weight loss blogger Tony Posnanski. He was so moved by the letter that he, in turn, shared it with CNN’s iReport.
“Anything with bullying gets to me,” Posnanski told the Daily News on Tuesday. “That’s what really touched me about this story. I was overweight as a child, and I was once over 400 pounds. I learned the best way to defeat a bully is self-esteem.”
Suffern couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but had said she asked her children, Ryan and Amber, to write letters to Santa now so that she could begin budgeting for her holiday shopping.
The young girl has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other mental and mood disorders, Suffern said, and she has become an emotional eater.
She weighs about 140 pounds — and is about twice the size of her brother.
“I try to build up my daughter’s self-esteem and tell her she is beautiful, but people say hurtful things to me, because I also have a weight problem, and that hurts me,” Suffern told CNN. “I can’t imagine what she goes through.”
Ryan said his sister is exposed to constant taunting by the other kids, and that they also say she’s adopted because she is multiracial.
“Every day when she goes to school, she says, ‘Mommy, can I just stay at home?’ and she just doesn’t want to go. And now every time I send her to school, I feel like I am not protecting her and I am letting her down,” Suffern said.
Posnanski said he hopes the letter can help increase awareness about bullying — and lead parents to have conversations about its consequences.
“I want to do a story about a bullying situation where someone didn’t lose their life,” he told The News.
He said the school that the children attend in North Carolina has said it is going after bullying.
The letter, meanwhile, has also drawn criticism by some Facebook users who say Suffern is to blame for allowing her daughter to become overweight.
The mom said she does take responsibility for her daughter — but the girl still doesn’t deserve to be picked on.
“My daughter is beautiful, and bright, and special and she is ALL of these things even being overweight,” Suffern wrote. “And it’s not my fault she is bullied, it’s the fault of the parents who don’t expect their children to treat others with respect just because they are different.”
Cleaned-up text of Ryan’s letter via CNN:
My mom said to send you a Christmas list. I wanted a remote control car and helicopter but I do not want that anymore. Kids at school are still picking on Amber and it is not fair because she does not do anything to them and it makes me mad. I prayed they would stop, but God is busy and I need your help. Is it against the rules to give up gifts early? Can you ask Big Time Rush to come to Amber’s birthday party? It will make her so happy. If you do not get them to come that is fine, just get her everything she asked for.
PS — My mom throws the best birthday parties. You can come if you want.