BRISBANE, Australia — What began as a plea has quickly become a movement after a mother posted a heartbreaking video of her son sobbing to raise awareness of the impact of bullying.
Comedian Brad Williams, who also has Dwarfism, saw the story of Quaden Bayles, and it hit close to home.
So he decided to help raise money to help send Quaden and his mother from Australia to Disneyland in California.
The fundraiser in just under 24 hours helped raise over $75,000 with a goal originally set for just $10,000.
Twitter users were blown away by the success of the campaign, with Quaden also earning the support of other celebrities, including Hugh Jackman, who posted a video for Quaden on Twitter.
Bayles also has the support of the National Rugby League’s Indigenous All-Stars team. The youngster will lead the team out before Saturday’s NRL pre-season match against the Maori All-Stars in Queensland’s Gold Coast,
“Just want to wish you all the best brother. We know you’re going through a hard time right now but the boys are here, we’ve got your back. We’re here to support you, bud,” Indigenous All-Stars fullback Latrell Mitchell said.
Quaden’s mother, Yarraka Bayles, shared the emotional video on Facebook on Tuesday, showing her son crying after school.
In the video, Bayles says Quaden was born with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.
“I’ve just picked up my son from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people [to] know, parents, educators teachers, this is the effects that bullying has, this is what bullying does,” Bayles is heard saying in the background.
Bayles told Australian news outlet SBS that she witnessed a classmate of Quaden patting him on the head and making references to his height.
She said she shared the video because the bullying is ongoing and Quaden has attempted suicide several times.
Bayles said she doesn’t point fingers at the school or the students for the incident.
Rather than placing blame, she said she just thinks more needs to be done to teach children about disabilities.
Since it was shared earlier this week, the video has gone viral with over 13 million views and thousands of shares.
Quaden has since been pulled from school and his mother is considering homeschooling him.