After her classmates tried cyberbullying her, a Texas high school student decided to use the experience to make a difference.
Dannie McMillian, a junior at Lampasas High School, was the victim of a classmate’s cruel attempt at cyberbullying. According to Go Fund Me, she explained that someone made a Twitter profile with the username called fatwhaledee with an image of a whale placed on top of her face.
“At first I had no clue, it started with weird looks in the hallways and people giggling behind my back,” she recalled. “Then my friends started sending me screenshots of the page so I would know.”
Dannie told KCEN-TV News that she was mortified when she first heard about the Twitter page. She cried for hours and watched the number of Twitter followers on the fake account grow .
"The moment I got out of that classroom, I just started crying," she said. "I was just really upset. I think I got angry after a little bit. But, at first I was just so embarrassed."
The 16-year-old decided to message Laura Lee, a plus-size model with more than 25,000 Facebook followers.
"I jokingly told her: part of me wants to cry all day,” Dannie said. “And, the other part of me wants to get a t-shirt with a whale on it and wear it to school to show that they can't get to me. And, she was like, 'Oh, we should.'"
Dannie then decided to design a t-shirt along with a fundraiser called “Dee the Fat Whale saves the Whales.” All money raised from donations and t-shirt sales will be donated to Save the Whales, an organization which educates people about the protection of marine mammals, campaigns against whaling and the captivity of Orca whales, and supports rescue efforts, according to the organization’s official website.
More than $2,000 has been raised between clothing sales and donations.
“This project means so much to me because while I can help make a difference in the oceans I can also set an example for other victims of bullying,” Dannie wrote on Go Fund Me. “I can take someone's hate and use it to spread love.”
After reading Dannie’s story on KCEN-TV News, Lee was “beyonddddddd thrilled” to hear of the high school’s student impact and willingness to make a difference.
“She is such an amazing beautiful girl,” Lee wrote.