Comedian Brad Williams Raises $377,000 to Send Bullied Boy to Disneyland
Support for the nine-year-old boy with dwarfism rolled in after heartbreaking video went viral.
A viral video of a nine-year-old Australian boy with dwarfism reacting to being bullied at school spurred an outpouring of international support, most notably from comedian Brad Williams, who set up a fundraiser to help send the boy to Disneyland.
On Wednesday, Yarraka Bayles posted a video on Facebook of her son, Quaden Bayles, sobbing due to the horrible bullying he'd endured at school over his genetic condition.
"Give me a knife—I want to kill myself," he shouted at one point, through tears. His mother urged parents and educators to realize that "this is the effect that bullying has." She said her son was "suicidal every single day" due to the way people treat him at school and in public.
The video went viral, with over 23 million views and over 360,000 shares in just a few days. People all over the world sent Quaden messages of love and support.
The Indigenous NRL All Stars—an Australian rugby team—shared a video telling him they were all on his side and invited him to lead the team out during their game this Saturday.
— NRL (@NRL) February 20, 2020
Australian actor Hugh Jackman also shared a touching video.
"Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate," Jackman said. "No matter what, you've got a friend in me. Everyone, let's please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK. Period. Life is hard enough. Let's just remember, every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle, so let's just be kind."
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 20, 2020
But arguably the most moving support came from American comedian Brad Williams, who was born with achondroplasia—the same type of dwarfism that Quaden has.
This makes me sick. I've been trying to get in touch with this family. If any of my Austrialian fans know this family. Please tell this wonderful boy that he has me and an army of friends all over the world that support him.
— Brad Williams (@funnybrad) February 20, 2020
On Wednesday, Williams set up a GoFundMe to raise money to send the boy to Disneyland.
"This isn't just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren't good enough," he wrote on the page. "Let's show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it."
He added that he had been in touch with Quaden's family, and wanted to cover their flights, hotel, tickets, and food for the trip. "Any excess money will be donated to anti-bullying/anti-abuse charities," he wrote.
At the time this article was published, the GoFundMe had raised over $377,000.
The love you have shown is unbelievable. Thank you! Money donated will not be wasted! We have a team of people making sure everything is completely legitimate. We thank you for your generosity and patience while we make sure all this is done the right way.
— Brad Williams (@funnybrad) February 21, 2020
It's a powerful stand for people with disabilities and anyone who's ever felt bullied, as well as a reminder that there are a lot of good people out there.