Transforming Lives Through Kindness: A Story of Triumph Over Bullying

Evan Hill, a 12-year-old boy living in New Zealand, was once ridiculed by his classmates because of his buck teeth. They used to call him the “rabbit kid.” Evan’s severe case of buck teeth made it difficult for him to close his mouth properly and affected his speech. His family was desperate to help him, but the treatment cost of $12,000 seemed out of reach. They even considered mortgaging their home. But then, something truly amazing happened.

Bullying Leads to a Desperate Plea

In 2017, Evan’s story was featured on a national television program called Campbell Live. The program created a wave of compassion among viewers who felt inspired to help. Since then, around $100,000 has been donated to support Evan and his family in covering the cost of his treatment plan. Orthodontist Ronald Sluiter, who has 25 years of experience, described Evan’s case as the most severe he had ever seen. However, that did not deter him from taking on the task.

Incredible Results and a Radiant Smile

After five years of treatment, Evan Hill has finally received the care he needed, resulting in a spectacular smile. His teeth have shifted an incredible 15 millimeters since the beginning of his treatment. “We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?” Sluiter exclaimed to Evan as he removed the final set of braces in early 2023.

Barbara Erickson, Evan’s mom, shared her gratitude for the incredible support they received: “I don’t know where we would be today without the generosity we had,” she said. Erickson also expressed her joy to see her son’s newfound confidence and radiant smile.

Kindness That Keeps Giving

The kindness shown by the people of New Zealand has not only changed Evan’s life for the better but has also had a broader impact. Erickson revealed that the extra funds donated to their family have been put into a trust. This trust will be used to provide necessary dental care for children whose families cannot afford the treatment.

A Wider Issue: Bullying and its Impact

While Evan’s story is heartwarming, it sheds light on a larger issue that deserves attention: bullying. Bullying affects people all over the world, but it seems to have a greater impact on those who are more vulnerable. Reports show that individuals from the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities, and those from lower-income households face harsher bullying experiences compared to their wealthier counterparts with more resources.

Causes and Consequences of Bullying

Bullying often leads to severe consequences, such as substance abuse or even suicide. There are various reasons why someone becomes a bully, including a lack of understanding or discomfort with what they perceive as “unknown or unusual.” In some cases, bullies project their own insecurities onto others. Additionally, the inability to manage and regulate emotions like anger, anxiety, or frustration from an early age can also contribute to bullying. Peer pressure, a sense of entitlement, and low self-esteem are other prevalent reasons behind bullying incidents.

Bullying takes different forms, such as verbal, physical, sexual, racial, and cyberbullying. It can involve aggression, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Sometimes, bullies target their victims’ perceived shortcomings. Unfortunately, cyberbullying has become increasingly prevalent, with social media platforms and anonymity giving bullies a new platform to torment their victims. Between 2009 and 2019, around 20 percent of youth reported being victims of bullying. However, recent data indicates a downward trend, giving hope that bullying will one day be eradicated from society.


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