The Incredible Way Tiger Woods Stepped In to Help a Bullied Teen
Dillon is a high school student who’s a big fan of professional golfer Tiger Woods. He also lives with a stutter, and because of that, is frequently bullied at school. The bullying and problems with friends got so bad that Dillon recently tried to take his own life, Golf Digest reported.
When Sophie Gustafson, a former professional golfer who also has a stutter, heard about Dillon’s story, she immediately wanted to help. She befriended Dillon and began visiting with him regularly. Dillon had seemed to feel better, but recently, Gustafson received an email from Dillon’s mom that made her realize it was not enough.
“He has really been struggling lately, feeling lonely due to the [fact that he] really does not have any close friends. On the week of April 16, he had a bad week; he had been teased about his stuttering. That evening, he attempted suicide,” Dillon’s mom wrote in an email to Gustafson, which Gustafson shared with Golf Digest’s Ron Sirak. The mom continued, asking for Gustafson’s help:
I am writing to ask you, do you have anyone that could help us share his story and help us find something to encourage him and help him see that he has a positive future? He continues to love to watch golf and is still a fan of Tiger. Is there anyway we could get his story to Tiger and see if he could help find something encouraging for [him] to look forward to?
When Sirak received the note from Gustafson, it became his mission to make sure Tiger Woods knew about Dillon. Soon after that, Tiger Woods sent Dillon a personalized letter, CBS Sports reported.
Gustafson thanked Woods on Twitter, adding that the letter had made Dillon happy:
Thanks so much @TigerWoods for sending my friend Dillon a letter. He got so happy! It's being framed and hanged. #class
— Sophie Gustafson (@SophieGustafson) May 10, 2015
Since the news went public, numerous fans have voiced their support for Dillon on Twitter.
@SophieGustafson Hi tell Dillon my family is rooting for him. Someday he will be the strongest person there is and he will do amazing things
— Jerrod W. Atkinson (@tyronejwa) May 11, 2015
@SophieGustafson am praying Dillon stays strong and has a great week! Lots of kind, loving people out there, hope he meets more soon…
— Matt Reeve (@mattyreeve) May 11, 2015
@SophieGustafson @TigerWoods Please tell Dillon to stay happy. I had the issue until I was 23 – helped by a friend & it altered my life
— Pradeep Bakshi (@p_bakshi) May 11, 2015
Gustafson also wrote on Twitter that Dillon is continuing to do better and that he appreciates the incredible support he’s receiving.
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