Skip to main content

10-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Fights Back Against Bullies On Instagram

A 10-year-old cancer survivor received support from celebrities like Questlove and Jimmy Fallon after an Instagram post he wrote about being bullied went viral.

Dominic Zaffino of Philadelphia went through more than three grueling years of chemotherapy to treat his cancer when he was a toddler, and as a result of the treatment, he’s not as tall as other children his age. Zaffino decided he had enough of being bullied about his size, but instead of physically fighting his bullies, he took to Instagram to hit them where it really hurts.

Image placeholder title

“To everyone that calls me short: You know I may be short but that’s better than being dead,” Zaffino eloquently wrote. “I had cancer (if you haven’t found out it’s DEADLY). I like who I am and am very lucky to still be living. And everyone that thinks they’re huge that’s not the greatest thing in the world (you could develop problems). You don’t have to be tall to win. I could be tall but God slowed down my growth for me to be the best person I can become. Let that sink in and think of this before you call someone short.”

Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title

Almost immediately after posting his inspirational message, Zaffino became a viral sensation. Questlove, drummer for “Tonight Show” house band The Roots, shared Zaffino’s words on Instagram along with a message of his own.

“Respect to @Soccerguy31, a complete stranger to me,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “A brave 10 year old who posted this message to insensitive friends in school. (chemo has stunted his growth, thus unnecessary teasing from their end) Lemme tell you Dom, as a kid who also got relentlessly teased for being different growing up, I wanna say stand strong & hold your head up high. You are an inspiration and an amazing human being. Don't let anyone's words keep you from your destiny in life. Respect!”

Image placeholder title

Zaffino’s proud mother, Gemma Collelo-Zaffino, confirmed that “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon even sent them a message through Questlove, saying her son is “an inspiration and wise beyond his years. Adults and children should take a lesson from his maturity.”

Reports say the 10-year-old is now working with his school to lead a workshop that will teach his peers about the effects of bullying.

Sources: My Fox Philly, Philladelphia Magazine

Photo Sources: Philly Mag, ABC 7 Chicago


Popular Video