Life

Boy Was Bullied For Having Deformed Legs "Like A Flamingo"

August 8th, 2018

As we grow up we learn that what is in a person’s heart matters much more than what is on the outside. As true as this might be, however, it is hard to impart this knowledge on our children. They gain an idea of what “normal” is from media, adults, and each other, and this concept can be extremely difficult to change.

We have dozens of campaigns dedicated to stopping bullying in schools, but unfortunately the success of these endeavors is still limited. Children who are not perceived as normal can face a tremendous amount of difficulty, especially in the form of bullying from their peers. One little boy named Aldrin knows this better than anyone.

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Aldrin was born with a birth defect: a congenital knee dislocation that caused his knees to bend in the opposite direction, or what we might consider backwards. Because of this unique formation, the boy was never able to stand straight up. It was difficult for him to walk, and his legs caused him a great deal of pain.

But worse than the physical pain was the emotional pain of being taunted by his peers. Other children constantly poked fun at Aldrin, saying his legs made him “like a flamingo.” This really wore down the boy’s confidence, and he even started to feel like he had no purpose in life. This is a terrible thing for any child to have to go through, but for a long time it seemed to Aldrin that more misery was all the future held in store for him.

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Finally this year the 11 year old boy showed up at the Tebow CURE Hospital looking for help. When the physicians heard about the boy’s condition, a representative of the hospital rushed over to Tim Tebow himself to tell him the tale.

Tim Tebow, the former NFL quarterback, was moved by Aldrin’s plight. He knew he had to meet him in person, since a boy very similar to Aldrin had shaped Tim’s life many years ago.

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Tim was born in the Philippines, and he was raised by his parents who were American Baptist missionaries. They worked in the Philippines for more than 30 years, and when Tim was a teenager his father took him on his first missionary trip to a remote island.

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During this journey, Tim came into contact with a young Filipino boy named Sherwin. Sherwin had an extremely rare birth defect; according to Tim, “he wore his feet backward.” He had been born that way, and the orientation of his feet made it very difficult for him to walk.

Tim was inspired by Sherwin’s story, and he wanted to help people like him. The memory of their time together stayed in his head while he established the Tim Tebow Foundation, an organization that aims “to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”

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When Tim heard about Aldrin, he immediately thought of Sherwin and the hardships that he had faced. There was no doubt in his mind; he had to do something to help this little boy.

Aldrin had been discouraged from undergoing surgery because he was already 11 years old. He wouldn’t bounce back as fast as he would have if he had done the surgery younger, but that hadn’t been an option for him. The medical team at the Tebow CURE Hospital devised a plan that would change Aldrin’s life forever.

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The boy underwent a four hour surgery, after which he was able to do something miraculous: stand tall and walk normally. This was a HUGE change for Aldrin. No longer would he be the victim of continual torment. He finally had a chance at living a bully-free life.

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The team’s help was immensely valuable to Aldrin’s mom, who had never thought this day would come. “When he had surgery,” she shared, “it was okay because their staff gave us encouragement and they took care of us very well. They encouraged me and gave me strength that God knows and has an idea on what is best for him. God is in control just like in your doctors and whatever is good for Aldrin.”

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Aldrin is now practicing walking normally with the assistance of a walker, and it won’t be long before he can walk all on his own. His life has truly changed, all because of the compassion of a fellow human being.

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“Thank you Sherwin,” Aldrin said. “One life truly can change another.”

Find out more about this heartwarming story in the video below.

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Source: Little Things

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