Karen Suffern is the mother of 8-year old twins, Ryan and Amber. To plan her budget, she asked her kids to write letters to Santa Claus, describing what they want. Ryan had the right priorities:
Her son, Ryan's, letter to Santa started off normally:
"Dear Santa ... I wanted a (remote control) car and helicopter, but I don't want that anymor. Kid at school are still picking on Amber and its not fair," he wrote. "I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help."
Suffern felt tears fill her eyes as she read her son's letter asking Santa to help stop the bullying his overweight sister was experiencing at school.
Reading the letter was tough for Suffern. "I try to build up my daughter's self-esteem and tell her she is beautiful, but people say hurtful things to me, because I also have a weight problem, and that hurts me," she said. "I can't imagine what she goes through."
She had a vague idea that Amber was teased on the bus, but she didn't know the extent of the bullying. Amber, who has attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder and other mental and mood disorders, never mentioned the teasing.