“Wonder” Movie helps Bring Awareness to Local Student’s Condition

Local News

The film “Wonder” tells the story of a boy born with a facial difference. First written as a novel, the New York Times Best Seller has been read by more than a million people. And now, the story hits the big screen. 

“The message is to look at a person’s heart and soul don’t look at the covering, don’t look at the package. We’re all one human race and love thy neighbor as you would love yourself,” Mandy Patinkin, an actor in the film said. 

Actors gathered in Hollywood to celebrate the movie’s debut and one very special Horseheads High School student was flown out to LA to be a part of it. 

“It was really fun, particularly the movie premiere it was an experience I will never forget,” Jeremy Dale said. 

Jeremy Dale was born with a facial difference just like the main character of “Wonder”, so he’s no stranger to the struggles that come with being different. 

“When somebody looks different it’s harder for them to be excepted and there’s a lot of stares, there’s a lot of points and there’s a lot of scary stuff that happens with somebody looks a little different,” Kristine Dale, Jeremy’s Mother said. 
Jeremy first read “Wonder” a few years ago. Since then, he’s been using his story and the message in the book to help inspire his fellow students throughout Horseheads School District.  

“What he invites the students to do is look straight to the heart and he really challenges the kids to choose kindness,” Kelly Murray, a teacher at Ridge Road Elementary said. 

We asked Jeremy if he ever gets nervous while speaking to a class. He says, after 40 surgeries and years of therapy it doesn’t even phase him anymore. 

“It’s no big deal, it’s just like a run-of-the-mill day for me,” Jeremy said. 

Sharing his story has given Jeremy some new found confidence and he’s now branching out to speak at other schools.

“It’s amazing how much these kids look at him as a rockstar because of the book and now here’s the real character coming in to talk to them and he loves it. He’ll answer any questions, he has a prosthetic ear and eye and he’ll take those off and he shows the kids, so he adds some humor into it as well and his confidence has just really increased,” Kristine Dale said. 

As Jeremy hits the mid-point of his senior year at Horseheads High School, his younger brothers say they couldn’t be more proud. Jeremy’s mom hopes his story, and the message in the highly anticipated “Wonder” movie will help break some social barriers and make the world a kinder place. 

“Instead of kids looking at somebody that looks different and running away they are now more apt to go up and talk to them or ask them a question. We love when people ask what’s wrong, how come you look like that and we tell them it’s the way he was born and this is has been his journey and his progress,” Kristine Dale said. 

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