6 Weeks Ago, This Teen Wanted to End Her Life. Thousands of Strangers Changed That.

Breanna Mendoza is an eighth grade student at Dutcher Middle School in Turlock, California. She was born with Goldenhar syndrome, a birth condition that can cause facial deformities as well as vision, hearing and breathing problems. Breanna has dealt with bullying most of her life. Six weeks ago, she was forced to stop going to school because of violent threats she was receiving at school and on social media, News 10 reported.

“I felt like I was hopeless, like I had no other reason to be alive. So I had sent a few text messages to my friends saying, ‘I’m sorry, goodbye, I care about you guys,’” Breanna told the outlet.

But then, things took a turn for the better. After News 10 reported on Mendoza family’s story, it quickly went viral — Breanna has received countless uplifting messages and friend requests from strangers all over the world. The eighth-grader and her parents were also invited to the Children’s Craniofacial Association’s annual retreat in Newport Beach, California. For the first time ever, Breanna will have the chance to meet other kids with Goldenhar syndrome.

“Going from being the one being bullied to the one standing up to the bullies is a big step, and I’m super happy I did it,” Breanna says in the video below. “Hopefully it will help other kids be able to step up, too, and realize that they’re not alone and that they have people there for them no matter what.”

Hear more about Breanna’s heartwarming story in the video below.

Dutcher Middle School is still investigating the bullying incidents, and the Mendozas say they hope the students who harassed Breanna are still held accountable.

h/t Seventeen

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