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'We're all in this together': Valley mom turned to Facebook after her daughter was nervous to start high school. She got an outpouring of support.

Her 15-year-old was nervous to start high school, so she put out a call for kindness on social media.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The start of a new school year can be daunting for any student. However, a Gilbert mom is using it as an opportunity to teach others about kindness.

Lucy Cook has a heart of gold.

"Nobody in this entire world loves harder and better than Lucy," her mom Stephanie Cook said.

Born at 23 weeks, the 15-year-old has always faced challenges.

"She was a teeny tiny preemie, she was one pound, six ounces, so really little and had a pretty severe brain hemorrhage," Stephanie said. "She's done amazingly well, but she has Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and some other vision things."

Lucy's biggest obstacle though has been getting people to see past all that. This is why she was dreading her first day of high school last week.

"Do you want them to know you're like everyone else?" asked her mom.

"I'm like everyone else," Lucy said. "I'm nice and kind."

"She was really stressed about it," said her mom. "She was expressing concern, what if the kids don't like me? What if the kids make fun of me? What if the teachers don't know how to help me if I have a problem?

So her mom took to Facebook and began writing some thoughts, where she could share a message of kindness.

The Facebook post read in part:

"This is Lucy. Today she started her first day of high school. It's also her first day back at a district school after spending 6 years at a school for kids with special needs. She has been a nervous wreck all summer. She's scared that kids will make fun of her because she has cerebral palsy. She's worried they will make fun of her smaller right hand that doesn't open all the way, the way that she walks, that her body isn't shaped like she thinks it should be, that she can't do all the things that other kids can do. She's worried that they won't like her. She's worried she won't make any friends. She's worried that her classes will be hard and she won't know where to go. She's worried she will have a seizure and her new teachers won't know what to do. She's worried she will miss me while she's gone. She's worried she will be lonely. These fears are in some ways unique to Lucy, but pretty similar to the fears and worries most kids and teens have. My experience has been that when people understand, they always step up.  Please consider taking the time to teach your kids about other kids like Lucy.  Teach them that Lucy has challenges every day that seem almost insurmountable, but the one thing she wants the most is to be loved and valued and accepted—just like everyone else. Teach them that they have the incredible power to build people up or tear them down, and they make choices with those effects every day.  Be brave and reach out to those who look lonely. Teach them not to be so eager to climb the social ladder and relieved when they do that they forget what it felt like to be at the bottom.  We don’t lose any of our goodness by offering some of it to others—magic! Teach them that everyone is fighting hard, unseen battles and that a smile or wave or kind word costs them nothing, but has the potential to change the trajectory of someone’s day.  Teach them to be open to trying to understand people’s different viewpoints and backgrounds—that they don’t have to agree with someone on everything to love them and appreciate what they have to offer.  Please teach them not to use the R-word. Teach them that—while likely not their intention—it’s hateful and hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities..."

"I hope people will take the time to think about it," she said. "And educate people around them. We're all in this together and we all do better if we teach our kids these things."

The post, gained a lot of attention, mostly from supportive strangers. When Stephanie read Lucy some of the comments, Lucy cried because she was touched by all the warm words and messages. 

The support also turned Lucy's stress into excitement and gave her some confidence this school year will be one of the best.

"It reaffirmed that all this goodness is out there," said Stephanie.

"[My first day] was great, amazing, awesome," said Lucy.

And she said those who took the time to send positivity her way, meant the world to her.

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