An 11-year-old girl who beat cancer as a preschooler killed herself last month after what mom Wendy Feucht describes as unceasing bullying, CNN reports. Bethany Thompson, a sixth-grader in Cable, Ohio, had been free of cancer after undergoing radiation therapy for a brain tumor at the age of 3, but the treatments marred her nerves, leaving her with a "crooked" smile. That, along with her curly hair, led to the bullying against Bethany, particularly by a certain group of boys—and on Oct. 19, after telling her best friend she was going to end her life, Bethany hunted for and found a loaded handgun on a high shelf inside her family's home and shot herself before her friend's father could contact Bethany's mom, says Paul Thompson, Bethany's dad, per the Columbus Dispatch.
Triad Middle School was aware of the bullying—the school's superintendent confirmed with CNN that it "investigated a complaint raised by the student and appropriately resolved the same"—with Feucht noting she had had a conversation with the principal about it just a few days earlier. She says she found out that Bethany, who saw a counselor to help her deal with self-esteem issues, and her friends had even crafted anti-bullying signs but were prohibited by at least one school administrator from displaying them. "I'm sure she felt pretty defeated," Feucht tells the Dispatch. "I've had this constant in my life for 12 years and now it's gone," she adds to CNN. "Nothing's going to be able to fill that hole." (A 13-year-old Staten Island boy who killed himself in August left behind a note on bullying.)