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The Incredible Way Tiger Woods Stepped In to Help a Bullied Teen

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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:

Since the news went public, numerous fans have voiced their support for Dillon on Twitter.

Gustafson also wrote on Twitter that Dillon is continuing to do better and that he appreciates the incredible support he’s receiving.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Originally published: May 11, 2015
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