Before the movie “Wonder” was released, a successful pediatrician recommended those on Facebook to watch the movie for a reason. This doctor understands the struggles faced by the protagonist, which he had also faced while growing up.
Michael Goodman, 37, is a pediatrician from Indianapolis, Indiana. On Nov. 8, 2017, before the movie “Wonder” was released, he shared on Facebook about Treacher Collins syndrome.
The movie tells the story of fifth-grader August “Auggie” Pullman, who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a facial deformity, and the struggles he experienced when he was enrolled in a private middle school after being home-schooled earlier. The film is based on a 2012 novel of the same name.
— Wonder The Movie (@WonderTheMovie) November 16, 2017
Goodman wrote that like Auggie in the Wonder movie, he has Treacher Collins syndrome too. “The mutation responsible for the syndrome affects development of the external ears, middle ear bones, cheek bones, and lower jaw,” he said.
According to Genetics Home Reference, the syndrome affects one in 50,000 people and is caused by mutations in a specific gene.
My #Wonder Story:My name is Michael Goodman and I’m a 37 year old pediatrician. I love ice hockey, ice cream, and…
Like other people, Goodman said that he loves “ice hockey, ice cream, and quite possibly Maggie on The Walking Dead,” but has experienced the same struggles as Auggie when he was young, which saw him become the target of bullies, causing him to attempt suicide twice.
“I have experienced 75 percent of the social struggles Auggie dealt with, plus attempted suicide twice my senior year of high school,” he said.
After becoming a pediatrician, he once met a family who refused to let him treat their child. Goodman said the reason was “due to my appearance and my speech.”
Having had hurtful words hurled at him, Goodman said, “Words can and do hurt.”
“People with facial deformities want to be treated like any other normally developed person: respected, even loved,” he added.
Calling his experience a “Wonder Story,” he urged people to “read the book and educate yourselves, your children, and #ChooseKind. And see the movie” as the book by “R.J. Palacio has done an amazingly powerful job of describing what it’s like to be a kid with a facial difference.”
Goodman’s post was later shared on Love What Matters and soon attracted more than 1,500 comments.
One parent who had her daughter treated by Goodman wrote: “Dr. Goodman was my daughter’s doctor when she was in the hospital a few weeks ago. Here is a picture of him sitting on the floor with her because she was scared and shy about being in the hospital. He is a great doctor!!”
Another parent added: “Dr. Goodman!!! Whenever we are inpatient at the children’s hospital and see you come through the door we breathe a sigh of relief knowing you will be overseeing our son’s care! You always take time to listen to us as parents and use that information and your knowledge to think of things my weary momma brain might have missed.”
Dr. Martin Luther King once expressed that it was his dream that people would be judged “by the content of their character.” Indeed, his words ring with so much truth!
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