A US stand-up comedian has raised a whopping $150,000 to send Quaden Bayles to Disneyland after the 9-year-old was bullied for his dwarfism.
Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism, began crowdfunding to send the boy and his family to Disneyland after viral footage showed him crying and contemplating suicide after facing intense bullying at school.
The initial goal of $10,000 was absolutely smashed within 24 hours, with nearly 7,000 donors raising the staggering $150,000 total.
Quaden has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, which affects one in 25,000 people in Australia.
Throughout the now-viral video, 9-year-old Quaden can be heard saying “give me a knife, I want to kill myself.” The footage went viral after his mum shared it with the hope of spreading the message that bullying can have horrific effects, especially on children.
“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,” Quaden’s mum shared in the video.
“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.”
Since sharing Quaden’s story on Wednesday, his mother Yarraka has been inundated with messages of support from all around the world. The Indigenous All Stars NRL team have even reached out to invite Quaden to walk the team onto the field ahead of their game on Saturday night.
In truly heartbreaking news, Yarraka revealed that this isn’t the first time the 9-year-old has contemplated suicide, with Quaden first attempting to take his own life at the age of six.
“This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough,” Williams wrote in the GoFundMe description. “Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it.”
Williams hoped the fundraiser would show Quaden that “there is good in the world” and that he is “worthy of it.”
In addition to a huge display of financial generosity, the GoFundMe campaign also saw thousands of messages of love and support sent to Quaden, which will hopefully remind him of the good in the world.
After covering the costs of his trip, the remaining funds will be donated to anti-bullying charities.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or suffering from mental health issues, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.