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Bullied Teen Gets Free Nose Job from Nonprofit Group

Update Date: Jan 07, 2014 09:38 AM EST
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Despite the old saying, "sticks and stones might break my bones but words will never hurt me," in recent years, researchers and experts have identified the true power of words, especially for young and vulnerable adolescents. Children and young adults are constantly exposed to cyber bullying or physical bullying, whether or not they are victims, perpetrators or bystanders. Both types of torture can be extremely detrimental for the victim's development as an individual.

For some of these victims, birth defects often become subjected to bullying. With the hopes of fixing these issues, a nonprofit organization that provides surgeries for low-income children with facial deformities has decided to give 15-year-old, Renata a free nose job after she reached out to the organization due to intense bullying.

Renata is a teenager from South Carolina who used to participate in beauty pageants. However, she had to be homeschooled for the past three years due to intense bullying at school. Fellow classmates made fun of Renata's nose, calling her "that girl with the big nose," reported NBC's Today Show. The bullying became too much for Renata, which forced her mother to take her out of school. The mother-daughter duo then sought help from the nonprofit group, Little Baby Face.

Little Baby Face, which is based in New York, gives free plastic surgeries to underprivileged children who seek help for their condition. The applicants are assessed based on financial need and the severity of their deformity. The organization was founded on the principle that the plastic surgeries they offer will only be for birth deformities.

"We are not a bullying foundation," Diane Romo, who helped start the foundation, stated according to the San Francisco Gate.

In 2012, the organization helped 14-year-old Nadia Ilse pin back her ears. Ilse had turned to the nonprofit for help when the bullying became too much to handle. According to Ilse, her classmates had started calling her "Dumbo."

In Renata's own letter to the organization, she had written, according to TIME, "I tried convincing myself that I am fine, but I just don't believe it anymore." After reading her request, the organization's director, Dr. Thomas Romo agreed to take her case and subsequently diagnosed her with hemi-facial microsomia. The diagnosis meant that Renata's crooked nose, which turned to the left, could be fixed since it was a birth deformity. On top of the nose job, Romo also evened out Renata's face by performing a chin job.

Several experts believe that plastic surgery is not a permanent fix for bullying. Even though bullying is hard to control, parents, teachers, schools and children must work harder to put an end to this type of torture. Experts believe that plastic surgery would only mask the real problem that bullying can become so extreme that people start to hate who they are based on their physical appearances.

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