An 11-year-old boy has been dubbed ‘Popeye’ after a mysterious condition left him with one extremely large bicep.
Daniel Salvame from Rizal, the Philippines, resembles your regular school kid on one side, but on the other he looks ready to leap into the ring with Conor McGregor.
Daniel first began noticing swelling on his left upper-arm when he was just four years old, and his arm continued to expand. Within the space of two short years, his arm could have belonged to an adult bodybuilder.
Unfortunately – as all too many former children know – being different can be particularly tricky when you’re a youngster, and Daniel’s arm made him the butt of teasing from his peers.
His classmates reportedly bullied him over the way he looked; in the image conscious way all too often witnessed among children and young people.
However, brave Daniel wasn’t about to stand for it, and decided to take pride in his muscular arm.
Rather than let the bullies humiliate him, Daniel instead told them he was like cartoon strongman Popeye.
Speaking about his unusual nickname, Daniel explained:
My name’s Daniel but people call me Popeye of course. I have big muscles.
My friends have teased me because I look strange but it does not worry me. I have arms like Popeye.
Going forward, young Daniel harbours ambitions of one day becoming a bodybuilder and martial arts professional.
He believes achieving these dreams will help to show the bullies exactly how wrong they were to dismiss and ridicule him.
Refusing to be ashamed, determined Daniel explained:
I will be a bodybuilder and learn martial arts when I’m older. Then I can go back to them and say ‘look at me now’. They will be sorry!
According to Daily Addaa, Daniel lives with his 65-year-old grandma Alicia after his mum moved to Hong Kong to work.
At five years old, doctors were consulted regarding Daniel’s condition; informing the family how the boy had an enlarged heart and blood vessels.
Sadly, due to steep medical bills, the diagnosis on what Daniel’s condition actually is was left was not given. His family is trying to raise funds to return to the doctors for a full diagnosis.
He is a happy child. He has a lot of friends. He is playful too, but he gets easily tired. When his cousins are here, he likes to sing and dance.
Our house, even if it is small, it has a lot of vegetables like sigarilyas and nuts, bataw, patani, kundol, patola.
Well done to Daniel for refusing to let the bullies get him down, and for celebrating his unique look.
At just 11 years old, Daniel has embraced his differences in an extremely positive way and will no doubt go on to inspire many others to do the same.
If you’ve been affected by bullying, and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (Part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.