Metro girl says bullying drove her to brink of suicide, instead starts charity to help others

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- A 13-year-old girl says she has been bullied her entire life, even pushed to suicide. But she says that she fought back the dark thought and is now helping others to do the same.

Claire Tietgen has come a long way. She has video to prove it. In her survival video made just two years ago, the 13-year-old says she was bullied her entire life.

“They laugh at me all kinds of things, being fat, being stupid being who knows,” she said.

When the bullies got older, the words got meaner, and she says they became aggressive and even verbally abusive.

“Everyone gets bullied every now and then. But then in fifth grade when I got punched in the face, no it’s not bullying anymore,” Claire said.

Claire was pushed to the brink of suicide. She says no one knew how bad it actually got until her parents found her diary and the words "I want to die" scribbled in the walls of her room.

“We’re shocked, you can’t believe you missed it,” said Charles Tietgen.

Charles said he adopted Claire as a baby and later found out she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. But he says that difference was enough to make her a victim at school.

“I’m not going to let that happen anymore. I’m fed up,” said Claire.

Charles helped Claire enroll in jujitsu and finding her own strength. She started a charity to help others like her build confidence. The charity raises money so that others might be able to take martial arts classes to boost self-esteem.

She started interviewing people like Ronda Rousey and Dana White about their own bullying stories and shared in on her website, Bullied But Not Broken. Those videos are meant to inspire.

“You don’t need to suffer anymore. You have a support group. You have help,” she said.

Most importantly, Claire says she wants to save lives by sharing her own story.

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