Dominic Zaffino, a 10-year-old cancer survivor, has decided to stand firm against bullies and cyber trolls. Now, his powerful speech has gone viral. As a matter of fact, he’s garnered so much attention for the moving message that even celebrities have reached out to support him.
According to My Fox Philly, Zaffino has been tormented at school by bullies who insist on making jokes about his height. However, some may not know what led to his stunted growth. Zaffino endured three years of chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Although he’s alive and well, and the chemotherapy was a success, he unfortunately, suffered one of the common side effects of undergoing chemotherapy at such a young age — stunted growth. However, Zaffino wants bullies to know that he’s rather be short than dead.
“To everyone that calls me short: You know I may be short but that’s better than being dead,” Zaffino wrote. “I had cancer (if you haven’t found out it’s DEADLY). I like who I am and am very lucky to still be living. And everyone that thinks they’re huge that’s not the greatest thing in the world (you could develop problems). You don’t have to be tall to win. I could be tall but God slowed down my growth for me to be the best person I can become. Let that sink in and think of this before you call someone short.”
His mother, Gemma Colella-Zaffino also echoed his sentiments in a Facebook post. With a screen-shot of the viral Instagram post, she shared her thoughts about her son’s cancer battle and the disheartening response he gets from bullies at school.
Since the Instagram post, Zaffino’s inspiring story has gone viral. It has been reported that Jimmy Fallon and famed Roots drummer Questlove have verbally supported Zaffino for his courageous response to bullies. Zaffino’s family confirmed that Fallon sent the boy a message through Questlove, who posted his response via Instagram.
“Respect to @Soccerguy31, a complete stranger to me,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “A brave 10 year old who posted this message to insensitive friends in school. (chemo has stunted his growth, thus unnecessary teasing from their end) Lemme tell you Dom, as a kid who also got relentlessly teased for being different growing up, I wanna say stand strong & hold your head up high. You are an inspiration and an amazing human being. Don’t let anyone’s words keep you from your destiny in life. Respect!”
Zaffino has now joined forces with advisers at his school to combat the war against bullying.
[Image via Instagram]