Questlove Sends Instagram Love to Bullied MontCo Youth
Yesterday afternoon, after being bullied at school for months for being too short, 10-year-old Hatfield youth Dominic Zaffino decided to take to Instagram to respond to his name-callers. He posted a message explaining that his growth was stunted because he had gone through 3-and-a-half years of chemo at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to fight—and defeat—cancer. His heartbreaking rebuttal to his bullies read as follows:
The post was met with a resounding wave of support, racking up nearly 500 likes and comments from supporters and family and friends, including his mother, Gemma Colella-Zaffino.
It spread far enough that it caught the eye of Philly-bred The Roots drummer and Tonight Show band mate Questlove, who shared Dominic’s quote on his own feed with a personal message that read: “Lemme tell you, Dom, as a kid who also got relentlessly teased for being different growing up, I wanna say stand strong and 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 to @Soccerguy31, a complete stranger to me. 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!
Dominic’s mom tells me that he also received a message from Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon via Questlove that said Dominic, “was an inspiration and wise beyond his years. Adults and children should take a lesson from his maturity.”
Dominic—who’s living somewhere up in Cloud 9 at this point—may get a chance to share his story. According to his mother, they’ve reached out to his school to talk about letting him lead a workshop about his experience being bullied, and how people should “think about what you say before you say it,” she says, “because there could be a backstory.”