A girl with a rare condition who was allegedly bullied over how it made her look while singing was given an uplifting surprise when an entire baseball team turned up to support her through her school recital.
Peach Avilla, aged seven, from Susanville, California, has Marcus Gunn Jaw Winking Syndrome, which means the muscle in her left eye is connected to her jaw rather than her ear.
As a result, when Peach makes big motions with her mouth – like singing – her eye winks.
This condition made Peach extremely self-conscious around her peers, and ahead of the Richmond Elementary School spring concert on April 6, she felt extremely nervous, with her parents saying that one peer in her class bullied her because of how she winks.
Fortunately for Peach, she has a team of “brothers” who have supported her over the years.
Her father, Frank, 36, is the head baseball coach at Lassen Community College and large amounts of Peach’s spare time has been spent around the team, boosting their spirits.
When the team found out Peach was feeling self-conscious about her recital, they decided to all attend the recital at school and support her.
The 22 players sat at the back of the hall, most in orange baseball attire, watching on as Peach gave a smile as she noticed them and performed with her classmates.
Peach’s mom, Terra, said the team’s support for her daughter has been invaluable, and over the fall, the small-town team put in more than 600 hours of community service.
She said: “I just love these boys – when I walked in and saw the sea of orange and black shirts, I wanted to cry.
“I looked on stage and saw Peach just smiling, signing away, not caring anymore.
“She loves these boys, and it meant the absolute world to her.
“We are working on her confidence, and having the college baseball team spend their afternoon cheering you on sure does make a seven year old feel special.
“After, she ran to them and was so proud to tell her classmates – bully included – that her brothers came to watch her.”
Story via T&T Creative Media