A BRAVE Cork woman who lost her daughter to suicide following a campaign of bullying and torment is hoping to bring their inspiring story to the big screen.
Collette Wolfe came to media prominence back in 2007 when her daughter Leanne took her own life. The 18-year-old had left behind only a diary which detailed her spiral into hopelessness.
It later became her legacy and the inspiration for a book penned by heartbroken Collette and author Brian Finnegan. Collette released the book, If I Could Hold You Again, to raise awareness of bullying and its devastating consequences.
The Cork woman revealed she has signed a contract handing over the film rights for the book.
She said a production company has already expressed interest in Leanne’s story.
However, she explained that it may be a while before the project comes to fruition.
The Ballyphehane woman has been contacted in recent years by people whose lives have been saved by the book. She hopes that the impact of a movie will be just as far-reaching.
“It was eight years before the book came to be and we have no doubt that will happen for us too,” Collette said.
“We just have to wait and see. When Leanne wrote in her diaries she never thought there would be a breakthrough, but her story is inspiring so many and helping them through a difficult time.”
She hopes that their positive message will encourage others to take a stand against bullying.
“Leanne’s story is there to give people the confidence to express themselves and say ‘what you are doing to me is wrong’.
“Leanne didn’t have that confidence.
“It also shows people that Leanne was an ordinary young girl.
“Her story isn’t there to rip bullies apart. Instead, it shows how a person can have a lot going on in their life. Human beings aren’t great for sharing, but when you share a problem it gets smaller.”
Collette admits that some days are still a struggle.
“The hardest part for me was that nobody ever said sorry. There was never anybody who actually apologised. Sorry might seem like a small word, but it’s also very powerful. Even now it would mean a lot for us to hear it.”
Collette said that she still hears from people suffering from the effects of bullying years later.
“I had a grown man contact me who still suffers from depression because of the bullying he had to go through.
“This is what can happen even when the bullying stops and there is a battle between life and suicide.
“Even though at times we feel like we may not like each other, we have to live together and respect each other. At the end of the day this is a story of hope with a very positive message. Many people have said they got a lot of peace from reading it.”
Collette has finally reached a place where she can forgive the bullies.
“When I realised what had happened I was tearing them apart in my head. Just like with animals your basic instinct is to protect your child.
“By the grace of God I was able to forgive. A doctor can’t tell you that your heart is healed but God can. I believe that he is real. I walk with God now. When he gives you that strength to forgive, you have such freedom.”