Contact: Meredith Resnick
Phone: 202 -549-0807
Children with physical disabilities are twice as likely to be bullied, impacting their educational, physical and emotional development. *In support of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, Shriners Hospitals for Children and award-winning actor, model and philanthropist, RJ Mitte, are once again partnering to encourage the public to help #CutTheBull.
Teens and adults alike are encouraged to visit CutTheBull.org and see how they can help create a more positive, accepting environment for kids living with disabilities. There, Shriners Hospitals will announce “RJ’s Heroes”, honoring individuals who have helped reduce bullying in their communities. Supporters can also share their anti-bullying stories and purchase #CutTheBull t-shirts, with proceeds going to Shriners Hospitals for Children to provide life-changing care to kids.
Born with cerebral palsy, Mitte was bullied as a child and knows firsthand the effects it can have. The doctors and staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children helped Mitte overcome many of the physical effects of cerebral palsy, which made him stronger and able to succeed despite the bullying. Now a successful actor and model, Mitte wants to help other kids with disabilities who may be experiencing the same thing.
“My disability made me a target for bullies,” said Mitte. “I was harassed, knocked down and even had my hand broken. Now I have an opportunity to give a voice to people with disabilities. I want the public to see them for who they are and for what they can do.”
Shriners Hospitals provides specialty pediatric care for children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the families' ability to pay. Shriners Hospitals also offers psychological support, rehabilitation, life skills training and even school outreach programs that help children with physical differences feel confident.
“Unfortunately, RJ Mitte is not alone. At Shriners Hospitals for Children, many of our patients have physical disabilities or visible scars, which puts them at a greater risk of being bullied,” stated Jerry Gantt, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Shriners Hospitals for Children. “By treating both the physical and emotional needs of our patients, we help them see beyond their disabilities and realize there are no limits to what they can do. We want to stop bullying and create a better environment for all children with disabilities.”
A public service announcement featuring RJ Mitte and other Shriners Hospitals for Children patients, speaking about the #CutTheBull campaign is also available at Vimeo.com/139286381.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate. Learn more at ShrinersHospitalsforChildren.org.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
About RJ Mitte
RJ Mitte is an actor, model and philanthropist best known for his role as Walter "Flynn" White Jr. in the Emmy award-winning series “Breaking Bad”. After moving to Hollywood in 2006, Mitte began his acting career with several appearances on “Hannah Montana”, “Weeds”, and “Switched at Birth”. Mitte recently walked in the Vivienne Westwood Fashion Show during Milan Men’s Fashion Week in June 2015. Mitte will also be starring in the upcoming independent film “Triumph”, where he plays a high school senior with ambitions of making the wrestling team, despite suffering from cerebral palsy.
Mitte has become an inspiration to his peers around the world by championing his disability in hopes of removing the stigma associated with handicaps. He serves as an official Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
*National Bullying Prevention Center