11-year-old cancer survivor takes own life because of bullying

(Courtesy: Wendy Feucht)
(Courtesy: Wendy Feucht)

CABLE, OH (WCMH) — A 11-year-old Champaign County, Ohio girl beat brain cancer as a toddler only to end her life after relentless bullying at school.

Bethany Thompson’s family says she took her own life after a horrible day at school. She told her best friend that she wanted to die on the bus ride home.

The friend told Bethany she loved her and called Bethany’s mother, Wendy Feucht, as soon as she could, but it was too late. Bethany had found a gun in the house and shot herself while her stepfather was asleep in the other room.

Feucht says that Bethany would’ve had to search the home in order to find the gun because Bethany was never told where it was kept and it was stored out of site.

When Bethany was three, she battled a brain tumor. She had been cancer-free for the last eight years, but the harsh radiation treatments left her with nerve damage, leading to a crooked smile. Feucht said her smile and her curly hair were the catalysts for the horrific bullying her daughter endured.

“There’s a piece missing, I’ve had this constant in my life for 12 years and now it’s gone,” Feucht told CNN. “Nothing’s going to be able to fill that hole.”

Bethany’s father, Paul Thompson, is equally heartbroken.

“She was my princess, that’s my baby girl,” he said. “Life revolved around her for me.”

Feucht has had people reach out to her from all over the world, hearing stories from others who had faced difficulties at school because of their smiles like Bethany did. She hopes that people will come together to end bullying and remind others who are victims of bullying that they are not alone.

On Sunday, North Lewisburg United Methodist Church held a fundraiser dinner for Bethany’s family to help cover funeral cost. More than $5,500 was raised with an additional $2,000 in donations. The family plans to use the excess funds to set up a scholarship in Bethany’s name and create anti-bullying programs.