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Bullied Girl: "It Hurts So Much"; "The Bully Effect"; C. Everett Koop, 1916-2013

Aired March 3, 2013 - 7:30   ET


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN HOST: Hey there. And thanks for joining us.

I want to start today with a disturbing number. Parents pay attention to this. Estimates are that one in five children is bullied at school.

Now, most of the time, it's verbal abuse -- relentless name- calling that leaves emotional scars. We know those scars can last a lifetime. It's something we can all play a role in stopping.

But, first, I want you to meet a family and a girl who resorted to some pretty extreme measures to make that bullying stop.


GUPTA (voice-over): It's a parent's nightmare.

NADIA ILSE, UNDERWENT PLASTIC SURGERY AT AGE 14: I used to be very talkative when I was a little kid and now I'm just shy and I'd rather not talk to anyone. I'm antisocial now.

GUPTA: Children viciously bullied for their physical appearance.

For 14-year-old Nadia Ilse, the bullying started in first grade.

ILSE: There was this girl. She came up to me and says, you have the biggest ears I've ever seen. I'm like, well -- I was speechless because I didn't think about it until she said that.

GUPTA: She's heard Dumbo, elephant ears, and much, much worse.

Seven years of torment, so withdrawn, still so hard to talk about.

(on camera): What is the -- do you remember the worst sort of taunting or teasing or whatever? Do you remember a day where that happened?

ILSE: It happened a lot -- well, it happened so many times that it kind of all blends together that I kind of don't remember.

GUPTA (voice-over): Nadia was just 10 years old when she asked her mom if she could have surgery to pin her ears back also known as an otoplasty. She wanted them to stick out less, all in an effort to stop the bullying.

(on camera): It's been sort of a dark place for sometime it sounds like.

ILSE: Yes. It's been very depressing.

GUPTA (voice-over): Her mom, desperate to help, turned to the Internet and stumbled across the Little Baby Face Foundation. The nonprofit organization offers free plastic surgery for children like Nadia who are bullied because of their physical appearance and can't afford an operation.

(on camera): There may be people, Nadia, who say, look. You don't need to do this. This is just who you are. It's the way you were born. People should love people for who they are.

What do you say to those folks?

ILSE: I say that they're right. But it'll never stop. It'll just keep going. Get worse and worse.

GUPTA (voice-over): The foundation flew Nadia and her mother from Georgia to New York City for an all-expense-paid trip to this hospital.

DR. THOMAS ROMO III, MANHATTAN EYE, EAR & THROAT HOSPITAL: This will be our target ear. Then I'll match it up, match the other ear which is not as lateralized as this ear.

GUPTA: In her application, Nadia asked to have her ears pinned back. But Dr. Thomas Romo with the Little Baby Face Foundation recommended she change more than just her ears.

ROMO: I love thin chins, but I don't want them as pointy as that chin. We talked about that, didn't we?

ILSE: Yes.

ROMO: We looked at some pictures of some different people?

ILSE: Yes.

ROMO: Yes. And their chins come off just a little more square so that's exactly what we're going to do, too.

GUPTA: And there was more.

ROMO: When I looked up inside her -- the whole septum is actually going off this way. As the septum goes show goes the nose.

GUPTA (on camera): She never talked about the nose or the chin before, right?

ROMO: She did not because she didn't recognize that.

GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Romo says with her ears pinned back her nose and chin would be more pronounced. He said all three surgeries combined are necessary to balance out Nadia's features.

(on camera): So any last thoughts as we go into the O.R. here?

ILSE: Nervous. Excited.

GUPTA: In some ways this has been seven years in the making for Nadia. She just went under but she tells me she's been dreaming about this day for sometime. And now it's all happening for her.

So, what Dr. Romo is doing is an otoplasty, a reduction rhinoplasty, reducing the size of the nose, and a mentoplasty here on the chin.

What might surprise a lot of people is about 42 percent of surgeries on the ears are done in people under the age of 18.

(voice-over): This four-hour operation would normally come with a price tag of about $40,000. For Nadia, it's free.

(on camera): Here in the operating room when you see what is happening behind me, it gives you a good idea of how significant bullying can be. Kids become depressed. They can become anxious. And Nadia's case she told me it changed her entire personality.

(voice-over): But surgery alone won't wipe away the pain from years of all that bullying. Nadia's mom hopes counseling will be the final step in the healing process.

Seventy-two hours post-op, Nadia is still swollen but cautiously optimistic as Dr. Romo removes the bandages and she sees her new self for the first time.

ILSE: I look beautiful. It's exactly what I wanted. I love it.


GUPTA: And we are joined now by Nadia Isle.

Thank you for joining us, Nadia. I tell you, as a parent, I think a lot of parents, grandparents out there, watching what you went through, it hits -- it hits close to home. And it's great to see you. It's been about seven months now since your operation.

You turned 15. You started high school. How are you doing? How do you feel?

ILSE: I'm feeling great. It changed my whole outcome of life. My whole outcome, what I think of life.

GUPTA: This -- I mean, it was bullying, and you were very candid in just how tough that bullying was on you, and I'm curious. With the plastic surgery now, with the operation, has the bullying stopped?

ILSE: Yes, it has. I mean, I have changed a lot. A lot of people are now treating me with respect, and they actually talk to me now, and they say that they're sorry and they -- and they apologize for everything they did.

GUPTA: You can't help but note that this is obviously -- it's plastic surgery. It's superficial. You know, it's just changing your appearance.

I mean, how do you feel about -- is it superficial that they're apologizing, just because of this change in your appearance?

ILSE: No, they probably apologize because they have probably thought, like, wow, it must have hurt you so bad that you wanted to change your appearance and stuff. And they just -- they felt sorry that they -- that they were the ones who caused this.

GUPTA: You look great. You look so beautiful. I mean, you're a young woman. I wish you the best.

And as I think I told you, I have three daughters myself, so one can't help but think of their own kids when talking to someone like you. But thank you for being so candid and talking about this.

ILSE: Thank you.

GUPTA: You know, we want to continue this discussion. I'm going to be talking with my friend, Anderson Cooper. He's got details on a grassroots movement that's pushing for sweeping change across the country on this very topic. That's next.


GUPTA: Continuing our discussion on bullying. "The bully Effect" is an Anderson Cooper special report that chronicles the journeys of a bullied child, a he grieving parent, a victim of violence and a filmmaker-turned-activist.

Each has become a powerful food soldier in this high stakes battle against bullying.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything that happened to me on that bus happened every day, if not worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bullying got so bad at school that we feared for her safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sped and run over on me. And when I rolled on to the ground, he drove away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife and I, we plan on fighting bullying forever, because our boy, he's going to be 11 years old forever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bystanders of the school get involved, I'll guarantee, we can overpower any bully.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really found -- I want to say my purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's get this rolling.

I'm telling you, I believe in you. You believe in you. Tell me, I am somebody. Raise this roof!

AUDIENCE: I am somebody!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what I'm talking about.


GUPTA: And Anderson joins us now.

Thanks for joining us.

Watching that kid get slugged on the bus.


GUPTA: I mean, what was it like making this documentary?

COOPER: You know, it was -- the original movie, "Bully" that kind of prompted all this by Lee Hirsch, he captured something that is really captured on film. You actually see kids being bullied and you see the impact it has on them, their families, on the parents, on the schools.

And we wanted to follow up with some of the people we met in his film. And that young man who was being punched on the bus, we would see how his life was transformed and seeing what works in trying to stop bullying, what doesn't work, and where we can do more. And what more needs to be done.

GUPTA: The filmmaker, as you mentioned, talked about his own experiences with bullying, as well. Is this something that you had any sort of personal sort of -- I mean, how do you ask somebody if they were bullied? Because I hate being asked that myself but --

COOPER: I wasn't really bullied in school at all. I was lucky. My school was very attentive to that kind of thing. There was certainly bullying going on.

You know, but I think anybody -- I think we all can remember what it's like to be a kid. And I think all kids feel a sense of alienation, feel a sense of not fitting in. You know, certainly, if you are a gay or lesbian child, that's exacerbated all the more.

And so, I mean -- I'm very kind of emphatic to what a lot of these kids have gone through and are continuing to go through. And just as a reporter, you know, I mean, I've done so many stories and interviewed so many parents who, you know, who found their child, 10- year-old child, 11-year-old child hanging in their closet, in their bedroom, because they've been bullied, and the parent either didn't know or didn't think it was as serious or kind of thought, look, this is what happens to all kids.

But it's really -- the nature really has changed and there is kind of a cruelty that the anonymity of online presence allows. And I think that's something that a lot of parents sort of have finally started to come to understand.

GUPTA: Yes, that anonymity as you mentioned, as well. I'm really looking forward to watching.

COOPER: Yes, it's really fascinating series.

GUPTA: Thanks for being here. It's called "The Bully Effect," again. It's an Anderson Cooper special, air Sunday night 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

And coming up on SGMD, there is a big new study about the Mediterranean diet. It's getting a lot of attention. I'll tell you what it really says about the best way to try and prevent heart disease.

Stay with us.


SAUL GRIFFITH, CO-FOUNDER, OTHERLAB: If you really think about everything, all of the consumer products, every machine that humanities have made, it's stiff and rigid. It's a completely green space of soft machine.

The robotics industry is concerned with the number of degrees of freedom --

GUPTA: Right.

GRIFFITH: -- and how much it costs. Here is a way we can really transform the cost of robotics. We'll eliminate all the server motors, we'll eliminate the pins and the bearings and the joints. And we will sew you a robot out of fabric and use pressurized fluids to make it work. And it will reduce the cost of robots 100-fold and it will make them 10 or 100 times more powerful.

The gray one (ph) behind me, for example, weighs one or two pounds, yes, it's the size of your arm. When fully pressurized, I could lift a human at arm's length.


GRIFFITH: There's no hinges and bearings there. It's all done in this tensile fabric. So it's really built the way biological systems are work. This works much more like a fish or shark than like a robot.

Personally, something that excites us a lot is prosthetic applications. It's essentially putting a wearable robot over a human skeleton as a prosthetic device. I think that's a beautiful application.



GUPTA: Big topic this week. A lot of people talking about the Mediterranean diet. That's because a study was just published in the "New England Journal of Medicine" which says patients who follow the diet sharply cut their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

There are some basics about this. You want to eat at least four tablespoons of olive oil a day, at least three servings of fruit a day, two servings of vegetables. fish, three times a week, white meat instead of red meat, a lot of nuts. And here's the one everyone always pays attention to --seven glasses of wine with meals every single week.

I want to bring in one of our favorite guests, Kat Kinsman. Your managing editor of CNN's "Eatocracy Blog".

Thanks for joining us.

KAT KINSMAN, EATOCRACY BLOG: I love this because this is -- this is a boon for food-lovers because the basic tenet of is stay away from processed things and eat real food. Essentially, don't eat anything that your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

GUPTA: Yes, that eat real food, that piece of advice, it's so simple when people put it just like that.

I was interested, because I know the Mediterranean diet one. I want to talk about the study. But I'm always curious specifically about breakfast, because one of my big things, and you and I talked about this, is eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince, eat dinner like a peasant.

I think frontloading your meals is helpful. But what do you eat for breakfast on a Mediterranean diet?

KINSMAN: Well, again, you just -- it's -- I think a lot of people get up in their head too much about what breakfast food actually is. First of all, just start your day with something just delicious. And your world can open up.

So I brought in a bunch of things you can have. You could maybe cut some lovely fruit in half, serve it with some beautiful Greek style yogurt. Have some -- you don't always have to have fresh fruit on hand. I know that's sort of a problem sometimes in winter.


KINSMAN: But you can always rely on wonderful dried goji berries, raisins, dried plums.

GUPTA: Yes, and eggs. You have eggs on here.

KINSMAN: You can have eggs on this too. And you don't have to be all abstemious and just -- you know, take out the yolk. Back it up with a little bit of spinach or whatever else happens to be in season. But really, you're not -- the great thing about this diet is, you don't have to eat that way. You get to eat that way. And it's a matter of perception.

GUPTA: Yes. And abstemious we don't hear enough of on television.

But, you're right. It seems a lot more accessible to people.

KINSMAN: It really is. I mean, we've got this whole grain oatmeal, which we're all trying to eat more of anyway.

GUPTA: One thing was interesting and I'm sure you noticed. The question they were trying to answer is, is it a Mediterranean diet better than a low-fat diet with regard to heart disease. And what they found is that the people who they put in the low-fat diet group, they couldn't stay on it. They were supposed to get very low fat in terms of their consumption. But they pretty much were eating a standard diet.

What -- I mean, what did you think of that as a person who focuses on this? Is it that low fat diets are hard to maintain? Or what is it about that?

KINSMAN: There's a sense of deprivation when you're on a low fat diet. There's something in your brain saying I'm being punished. So great thing about this is so many of these foods are so packed with flavor, it's a reward, you don't feel like you're sacrificing anything.

And if you are having a hard time staying on a low-fat diet, put some hot sauce on there, put some smoked paprika. Anything you can do to amp up the flavor and you're not going to have that little signal in your head, thinking that you're going to rebel later by having some cake or something like that.

GUPTA: Which happens a lot.

KINSMAN: It does.

GUPTA: And they will trash it all when they get home with the ice cream or cake or whatever.

KINSMAN: Think of this, this is the food where if you were on vacation, you would be delighted if they served this for breakfast. So -- vacation every day.

GUPTA: It's good to see you. Thanks -- it's good to be with you in person on the set.

KINSMAN: I know.

GUPTA: And we get great food. What happens with the food now, do we get to eat it?

KINSMAN: We get to eat it. GUPTA: Love it.

Thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.

KINSMAN: My pleasure.

GUPTA: Chris Rumble was a promising hockey player, a fierce competitor, on his way to a professional hockey career. But last year he was forced to confront an opponent he didn't know he could beat.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Win on three. One, two, three, win!

GUPTA (voice-over): Chris Rumble loves the hard hits, the camaraderie, and the trash talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, do you whine (ph) going the entire game?

GUPTA: In hockey.

CHRIS RUMBLE, CANCER SURVIVOR: It's always been in the back of my mind that, yes, I want to be a hockey player when I grow up.

GUPTA: After high school, Rumble played defense for the Wenatchee Wild amateur hockey team.

In April of 2012, Rumble noticed his glands were swollen, his energy level was low, and then came the diagnosis.

RUMBLE: I knew leukemia was a form of cancer. And I kind of felt like I had like a thousand pounds on my shoulders. I just kind of sunk into my seat.

GUPTA: Rumble approached his six months of brutal chemotherapy with a positive attitude.

RUMBLE: The worst day of pain was during round four and my large intestine ruptured, so I wasn't allowed to eat for 14 days, or drink.

GUPTA: The 22-year-old was a patient at Seattle Children's Hospital. He took comfort in being a role model for the younger ones and tried to cheer them up with another passion, making music videos.

RUMBLE: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger --

GUPTA: This video went viral, registering millions of hits.

Now, his cancer's in remission.

Rumble's back on the ice as a freshman playing defense for the Canisius Golden Griffiths.

RUMBLE: There were a couple points during my treatment where I didn't think I'd ever make it back on the ice, let alone Division I college hockey. GUPTA: A win on the ice, and in life.


GUPTA: Now, Rumble saying he hopes sharing his story is going to help others keep a positive attitude when times get tough.

And still ahead, the most important thing C. Everett Koop, Dr. Koop, ever did.


GUPTA: The picture of the surgeon general, one face probably comes to mind. It's the face behind me, C. Everett Koop. He died this week at the age of 96.


GUPTA (voice-over): The beard, the bowtie. The signature style was the same, whether he was denouncing tobacco or pitching life alert, after leaving office.

DR. C. EVERETT KOOP, M.D., FORMER SURGEON GENERAL: Without ever being alone.

GUPTA: Dr. Koop really was a surgeon. In fact, he established the country's first neonatal ICU in Philadelphia. But he carved out his place in history back in 1986 when he sent this pamphlet on AIDS to all 107 million U.S. households.

"Some of the issues involved in this brochure you may not be used to discussing openly," he wrote. "But now, you must discuss them."

The Reagan administration had been accused of being slow to recognize the epidemic, but when he joined the fight, Dr. Koop pulled no punches.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Just by his bully pulpit approach to two of the great killers in this world, tobacco and HIV, I believe he's responsible for saving many, many, many lives.

GUPTA: You can't ask more of a doctor than that.


GUTPA: Dr. Koop was the first surgeon general to officially warn about the dangers of passive smoking. He was a vigorous opponent of big tobacco, as you probably know.

And there's something I always like to tell people who want to quit smoking. You don't have to wait years to see the benefits. Take a look, Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop. In 24 hours, your heart disease risk goes down. Two weeks later, your lung function improves. After five years, your cancer risks declines. In fact, at 20 years, your overall risk is about the same as a nonsmoker.

Any tools or tips to help you kick the habit, go to Good luck.

That's going to wrap things up for SGMD. Time now to send it back to Atlanta for a check of your top stories making news right now.