Young cancer survivor honored for inspirational anti-bullying message

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Monday, April 20, 2015
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Today the founder of Teach Anti Bullying Incorporated honored 5th grader Dominic Zaffino for standing up against bullies.

HATFIELD (WPVI) -- A Montgomery County boy was honored this afternoon for standing up against bullies who have hurt him in a powerful post on social media.

10-year-old Dominic Zaffino received a medal of courage Monday afternoon at his home in Hatfield.

Dominic is a cancer survivor and has been bullied and picked on for being short.

But he took a bold step with the help of social media - calling out his so-called haters on Instagram and informing them that chemotherapy stunted his growth.

Today the founder of Teach Anti Bullying Incorporated honored the fifth grader's brave actions.

"Not only was this young man battling health issues, battling cancer but he was also a victim of the psychological side of being tormented as a bullying victim," said Dr. Claudio Cerullo, founder of Teach Anti Bullying Inc.

Dominic wrote on Instagram, "You know I may be short, but that's better than being dead. You don't have to be tall to win." And said that God "slowed down my growth so I could be the best person I can become."

His message quickly went viral and was reposted by big names including Philly's own Questlove from the Roots who wrote: "Don't let anyone's words keep you from your destiny in life."

"He stood up and he stood tall which is really what we want to talk about is his ability to be courageous and his heroism. We couldn't be more proud of a young man like this," said Dr. Cerullo.

"This is an amazing thing that he has done for himself, for the community, and for all the little kids who are being bullied," said Dominic's father, Dominic Zaffino.

Today, the young sports fan also received a signed Flyers hat and jersey from his favorite player, Claude Giroux.

"That's really, really cool. Thank you so much," he said.

Dominic is so happy so many are getting his message.

"Stand up to bullying. It's just not really a good thing at all. It's really hard to go through and it's tough," said the young survivor.