Quaden Bayles: More than £150,000 raised to send bullied schoolboy to Disneyland | World News
A comedian has raised more than $200,000 (£154,000) after setting up a fundraising page to send a nine-year-old boy who is being bullied because of his dwarfism to Disneyland.
American Brad Williams, who has the same dwarfism condition achondroplasia, set up the GoFundMe page after seeing a video posted by Quaden Bayles’ mother showing him in floods of tears as she picked him up from school.
The Australian boy can be heard saying “give me a knife, I’m going to kill myself” and “I want to die” in the video.
The footage has been watched by millions of people around the world and Quaden has received support from a host of high profile names, including Hollywood star Hugh Jackman.
Williams wrote on the page: “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.
“I want to fly Quaden and his mother to America, get them a nice hotel, and bring them to Disneyland.”
The page had an original target of $10,000 (£7,700) but has now reached more than $200,000.
Williams said any extra money that isn’t spent on Quaden’s trip of a lifetime will be donated to anti-bullying and anti-abuse charities.
“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,” he wrote.
Bayles, who is Aboriginal Australian, has been invited to lead the Indigenous All-Stars out onto the field in their rugby league clash with the Maori All Stars in Queensland on Saturday.
Jackman, who starred in The Greatest Showman and Les Miserables, says in his message on Twitter: “Quaden, you are stronger than you know mate, and no matter what, you’ve got a friend in me.
“So, everyone lets please be kind to each other, bullying is not OK.
“Life is hard enough, so let’s remember, every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle, so let’s just be kind.”
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, also commented on the footage after it was shared on social media.
He wrote: “The cruelty is as astonishing as it is heartbreaking.”
Quaden’s mother Yarraka Bayles, said: “We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy.
“There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying. It’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”
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