A stand-up comedian has raised more than $200,000 to send a boy who was bullied over his dwarfism to Disneyland.
Brad Williams set up a GoFundMe page for Quaden Bayles on Thursday after the boy’s mother shared a video of him crying and saying he wanted to die.
Mr Williams, who also has dwarfism, wrote: ‘I’m setting up this GoFundMe to let Quaden know that bullying will not be tolerated, and that he is a wonderful human being who deserves joy.’
More than 9,000 people have already donated to the page and raised a combined $203,000 (£104,000) as of Friday evening.
US comedian Brad Williams (pictured) set up a GoFundMe page for Quaden Bayles on Thursday after the boy’s mother shared a video of him crying and saying he wanted to die
‘I want to fly Quaden and his mother to America, get them a nice hotel, and bring them to Disneyland,’ Mr Williams said on the fundraising page.
‘This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough.
‘Let’s show Quaden and others that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it.’
Mr Williams said that if too much is donated the excess would be given to anti-bullying charities.
Where to get support
For confidential support call Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14
Quaden’s mother Yarraka, from Brisbane, shared the distressing video on Wednesday after picking him up from school.
The schoolboy, who has achondroplasia – the most common type of dwarfism – told his mother: ‘Give me a rope, I want to kill myself.’
In the video, which has been viewed more than three million times, Quaden also said: ‘I just want to stab myself in the heart… I want someone to kill me.’
Quaden also scratched at his neck and said: ‘I want to die… I want to scratch myself.’
The video has sparked an outpouring of sympathy for the nine-year-old from members of the public and celebrities including Hugh Jackman.
‘Quaden you are stronger than you know, mate. And no matter what, you have a friend in me,’ Jackman said in a video posted to his Twitter account.
Quaden will also lead the Indigenous All-Stars out onto the field in their rugby league clash with the Maori All Stars in Queensland on Saturday.
Quaden’s mother Yarraka, who is from Brisbane, filmed her son (pictured together) crying in the car after she picked him up from school on Wednesday and publicly shared the video on Facebook
They will take on New Zealand Maori Kiwis at CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.
The nine-year-old was snapped with NRL star Latrell Mitchell, who donned a South Sydney Rabbitohs jersey after signing with the club for the 2020 season.
Ms Bayles shared the video publicly on Facebook in a bid to raise awareness about the impact of bullying.
She said she normally tries to keep distressing moments such as this private but felt she had been left with no choice but to go public.
‘We try to be as strong as positive as possible and only share the highlights… but this is how bullying affects a nine-year-old kid,’ she said in the video.
What is Achondroplasia?
Achondroplasia is a disorder of bone growth that prevents the changing of cartilage (particularly in the long bones of the arms and legs) to bone.
It is characterised by limited range of motion at the elbows, large head size (macrocephaly), small fingers, and normal intelligence.
Achondroplasia can cause health complications such as interruption of breathing (apnea), obesity, recurrent ear infections and an exaggerated inward curve of the lumbar spine.
People with dwarfism have a normal life expectancy.
Source: US Department of Health
At the start of the five-minute clip, Ms Bayles said: ‘I just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal and I want people to know this is the effect bullying has. This is what bullying does.
‘So can you please educate your children, your families, your friends because all it takes is one more instance… and you wonder why kids are killing themselves.’
‘This is the impact bullying has a nine-year-old kid who just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun but every single fricking day something happens.
‘Another episode another bullying, another taunt, another name-calling.’
As Quaden sobbed, Ms Bayles asked for help from anyone viewing the footage.
‘So is there any advice or support or anything that other parents have done?
‘I’ve got some good advice but I need more, I want people to know how much it is hurting us as a family,’ she said as her voice quivered. quaden
The mother did not go into specifics about the latest bullying incident, but previously said her son was called a ‘midget’ by his class mates.
Quaden is pictured with NRL star Latrell Mitchell. The nine-year-old will lead the Indigenous All Stars NRL team onto the pitch on Saturday
Speaking to NITV in the wake of the viral footage, Quaden encouraged others to stand up for themselves when face-to-face with a bully.
‘If you get bullied, just stand up for yourself and don’t listen to what they say,’ he said.
The nine-year-old believes parents should educate their children about people with disabilities to prevent further bullying.
‘The parents should make their kids be nice to people with disabilities,’ he said.
Ms Bayles said her ‘strong’ son wants other people to know how he feels and no longer wants to ‘suffer in silence’.
‘It’s 2020 and bullying is at an all-time high and especially within our communities, people don’t understand that if you’re Indigenous, you’re already copping discrimination and racism,’ she said.
Last year Quaden’s mother told the Courier-Mail that he first tried to kill himself three years ago when he was just six.
‘I was so shocked. I honestly didn’t think he would even know what or how at six years old,’ she said.
The mother, an Aboriginal rights activist, said her son has made several attempts to take his own life.
‘I’ve explained to him that once you go, there’s no coming back, you’re gone forever, but he still kept trying,’ the mother said.
She also said Quaden has been affected by the death of his grandfather and his younger half-brother, who was stillborn.
‘He thought if he went to heaven, then he’d be with his Pop and his little brother,’ she said.
She told the newspaper she was proud that she had spoken publicly about asking for help.
The mother, an Aboriginal rights activist, said her son has made several attempts to take his own life