Evan Hill was a 12-year-old boy living in New Zealand. Sadly, he’s been ridiculed, being called “rabbit kid.” It turns out that he has a severe case of buck teeth. Resulting in the inability to close his mouth fully and difficulty with his speech. Unfortunately, his treatment would cost $12,000, and his family was so desperate they debated mortgaging their home. However, something amazing happened.
Bullying Leads to a Desperate Plea
In 2017, Evan was featured on a national television program called Campbell Live. The show created a lot of buzz, with people feeling inspired to help. Since the episode aired, around $100,000 has been donated to help the boy and his family cover the cost of his treatment plan. Orthodontist Ronald Sluiter explained that Evan’s case was the worst he’d seen in his 25 years in the profession. However, that didn’t deter either from taking on the task.
Seeing Incredible Results
Five years later, Evan Hill has received the treatment he needed, resulting in a spectacular smile. Evan’s teeth have been shifted 15 millimeters since the start of his treatment. “We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?” Sluiter said to Evan as he removed the final set of braces in early 2023.
Barbara Erickson, Evan’s mom, said, “I don’t know where we would have been today without the generosity we had,” Erickson also explained, “We looked at probably mortgaging our house to pay for them, but this came up and blew me away.” In addition to expressing gratitude the happy mom expressed excitement and joy to see her son’s confident new smile.
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Not only has the kindness of New Zealand significantly changed a young man’s life for the better, but their generosity has also gone even further. Erickson disclosed that the leftover money her family received in donations has been put into a trust to help fund necessary dental for children whose families cannot meet the payment requirements.
Something More Sinister Afoot
Although this touching story does create a feeling of wholesome warmth, there is a much larger issue of which should also be taken note of. Bullying affects people all over the world. However, it seems to impact some more than others. Reports have reflected that those with less privilege face more harsh bullying. For example, more people who are in the LGBTQ+ community, those born with disabilities, and those from lower-income households report being a victim of bullying than those who are wealthier or have access to a wider range of resources.
Cause and Effect of Bullying
In many cases, bullying has become so severe that victims often resort to substance abuse, or worse suicide. There are a handful of reasons that someone chooses to bully someone else, including a lack of understanding or feeling of discomfort at the “unknown or unusual”. Sometimes, bullying comes in the form of projection of the bully’s own insecurities. Other times a cause for bullying simply goes back to not learning how to properly manage and regulate emotions of anger, anxiety, or frustration from very early on, around the age of 2. Peer pressure, feeling a sense of entitlement or lacking self-esteem have also been prevalent reasons to explain why bullying occurs.
Bullying comes in several forms: verbal, physical, sexual, racial, or cyberbullying and includes aggression, harassment, threats, or intimidation tactics. Sometimes, it may seem or feel as though the bully is throwing the victim’s “shortcomings” in their face. Sadly, with the uprise of social media platforms and anonymity, cyberbullying has become the number one method for bullies to torment their victims, sometimes known as “trolling.” Around 20 percent of youth reported an incident in which they were a victim of bullying between 2009 and 2019. Fortunately, the newer data reflects that bullying is on a downward trend, ideally disappearing from society altogether with future generations.
Keep Reading: Father takes daughter’s bullying victim on a shopping trip to teach her a lesson
- “Classmates Call Bucked Teeth Boy ‘Rabbit Kid’ But People Donate $100,000 To Give Him The Brightest Smile.” A Post. August 14, 2019.
- “Bullying.” Psychology Today
- “Cyberbullying.” NIH
- “Fast Facts: Bullying.” NCES
- “What is Bullying?” Stop Bullying
- “11 Facts About Bullying Everyone Should Know.” Very Well Family. Sherri Gordon. December 13, 2022.
- “Bullies Call Boy With Giant Buck Teeth ‘Rabbit Boy’ Until Strangers See His Face On TV.” Little Things Amy P. April 28, 2023.
- “Bullied buck-toothed kid finally gets his perfect smile.” News Hub. Annabelle Tukia. March 29, 2017