(CBS News) — The parents of an 8-year-old boy believe his story has a lesson for every parent — and child — in America. It’s a Christmas smile that could warm any heart, but with the amount of bullying Jackson Bezzant faced recently in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the smile will positively melt you.
Jackson has Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic condition that makes him look a little different.
“I said, ‘We’ve gotta do something to fix the school situation.’ And my ex-husband made a plea on Facebook,” said Kelly Bezzant, Jackson’s mom.
“My heart is in pieces,” Dan Bezzant wrote. “He is called ugly and freak and monster … He talks about suicide. He’s not quite eight!”
The next morning, Jackson had messages from boys at his school wanting to be friends. Some bikers organized a ride to stand with Jackson and stand up to bullying. Someone even hooked him up with Rex, the service dog.
Treacher Collins makes it challenging for Jackson to hear and speak, but not when he’s talking about Rex. He even told us about how his new companion likes to lick him on the face.
Call it “Wonder”-ful, the real-life version of this year’s hit movie about a boy with Treacher Collins overcoming bullying.
“A little boy was asking questions about his face … just recently,” said Bezzant. “And there was about five other boys who spoke up and said he was born that way, leave him alone, and be nice.”
If that’s the lesson kids are truly learning, then maybe this holiday season Jackson Bezzant is giving so much more than he’s received.
Check out the video, here.